To cloth or not to cloth - is that the question?
_ I recently read an article in G Magazine – a great magazine for sustainable living and eco-friendly product choices – which presented their views on The Great Nappy Debate.
In the end, they quoted the same study I quote here in one of our previous posts. The outcome of the study was that the MOST eco-friendly option is cold washing cloth nappies in a front load machine & line drying in the sun.
That stands to reason really, doesn’t it?
_I thought it time to put across our stance, as a company, on this issue and potentially weigh into the debate.
We operate a nappy washing service – we hire out nappies as part of a full starter kit or we can launder your own.
We wash according to industry standards; using BOTH thermal AND chemical disinfection processes where the fabric of the nappy allows. We also test regularly for e-coli bacteria to ensure we are washing to a high standard of hygiene.
Take a closer look at the studies done
_I feel, despite the findings in the study, the cloth nappies ARE by FAR the MOST eco-friendly solution there is. Read on to find out how and why this is so…
1. The study presents its findings ONLY on terry towelling cloth nappies which are both cumbersome and difficult to launder & remove solid matter from.
Here at Lavenderia we use and recommend MODERN cloth nappies.
2. The cotton required for a MODERN cloth nappy is a good deal less than required for production of a terry towelling nappy. Part of modern cloth nappy design features is that they incorporate some polyester fibres to enable better and easier cleaning.
3. When our modern cloth nappies are past productive use in a commercial capacity, they are NOT sent to landfill! They are then collected and distributed to a charity who ensures that needy mothers in areas like the Phillipines get them. They are then used for up to 4 or 5 children before being recycled or up-cycled into other things by the villagers. To find out more about donating your old nappies to charity, contact Nappy Change here.
4. We use eco-friendly, bio-degradable, grey water safe and friendly detergents and disinfectants ONLY. We do not use chlorine bleach or other harsh chemicals.
5. We use high tempreture soaking to remove stains from fabrics that are marked ensuring that the results are still white and bright but they are also eco-friendly.
6. We buy a tree to offset carbon emissions for deliveries to our customers.
We take Mother Nature SERIOUSLY!
_The study quoted above failed to recognise the chemicals that have been found in another study to leach from nappies discarded into landfill. These chemicals are listed here in a previous post. The chemical leachate then either sinks into the soil and contaminates groundwater or is washed away in run off contaminating storm water.
At this stage, it does not present a “real” enough problem to be addressed. As always though, something that starts out small and could be addressed immediately, gets put off until it’s a HUGE issue affecting the health of wildlife and ruining eco-systems. We humans appear to be a bit slow on the uptake sometimes!
Here at Lavenderia we have tried VERY hard to address every area of “grey” concern within The Great Nappy Debate; offsetting emissions, using bio-degradable grey water friendly detergents, using front loading machines to cut down on water usage, recycling the water from the laundering for watering, printing all our marketing material on recycled paper and using economical vehicles for our deliveries.
We take our responsibilities to Mother Nature VERY seriously and strive to set a positive example of how businesses can go totally green without going broke. We just hope that other businesses are taking notice!
It is our opinion that with the chemicals used in production of disposables, chemicals that also leach out during degradation in landfill, and the sheer volume of landfill being generated by the use of disposable nappies – how can they EVER be considered a viable environmentally sound option?
It is unfortunate the studies into this Debate are not taking into account the full picture – such as newer designs of nappies, chemical leachate PROVEN to be an environmental issue and dangers of the chemicals used in production in increasing a child’s Chemical Body Burden. Learn more about Chemical Body Burdens here at Environmental Working Group.
Spread the word for a FULL study to happen!
_It is our wish, nay, our GOAL to conduct a FULL study into this Debate covering all these areas and more to ensure that a truly accurate picture is presented for all the world to see. Until the truth is completely uncovered and laid bare, the Debate will rage on with misinformation and misconceptions abounding.
If you’d like to see a full and complete study conducted into the Cloth vs Disposable debate, comment here and share the love of this article. The more support we have for this movement, the faster it will happen!
Love and cloth clad fluffy bums,