When trying to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle as a mom, switching to a sustainable diaper option is one of the best things you can do for the planet. I decided to make the switch when I learned about their impact — I was shocked to learn how long it takes a diaper to decompose in a landfill. I was also not a fan of the harsh chemicals found in the average diaper.
When trying to find the best option for my child, I discovered that you have two options— cloth diapering or you can switch to a biodegradable brand. But not every mom can keep up with cloth diapering, and that’s okay! For instance, I found it to be quite challenging with three kids under my roof. So, I tried to figure out another solution. A ‘green’ diaper is still more environmentally friendly than its conventional counterpart, with the same convenience factor.
In case you haven’t already made the switch, here’s why you should opt for a more environmentally sound diaper.
Additionally, if you need help finding some trustworthy brands, they’ll be detailed below.
What is a biodegradable diaper?
A biodegradable diaper works much like your standard single-use diaper. They keep your baby clean and comfortable. However, they decompose at a much faster rate. Whereas the traditional disposable diaper can take somewhere between 400 and 500 years to break down in landfills, a green disposable diaper can take around 50 years. These eco-friendly options are usually free from chlorine, perfume, dyes, and latex — meaning they can be gentler on your infant’s skin too.
How does switching to these diapers make an impact?
An average mom will go through about 3,000 in the first year of child-rearing alone. Now imagine all of that waste affecting the soil and groundwater below for the next 500 years. We already produce so much waste as it is if you’re counting clothes, electronics, and single-use plastics. While you don’t have to be perfect to help the environment, switching to an eco diaper brand is an effortless place to start. Yes, the consequences may not directly affect us now, but they certainly can conduct harm down the line.
Cloth Diapering Versus Single-Use
While cloth diapering is an excellent way to do your part for your baby and the environment, using a green diaper is more convenient. It’s easier to travel, and the upfront investment is cheaper. A green single-use diaper will also save you loads of laundry. I encourage moms to try both and ultimately see what the best option for you and your baby is.
What to consider when buying an earth-friendly diaper
Consider the cost, comfort level, and the diaper’s absorption when selecting your ecological friendly diaper of choice. Also, look into the materials that make up the diaper. If your baby has sensitive skin, go with a diaper that has aloe-infused into the lining. This will soothe their skin and avoid harsh irritation. Also, decide whether you want to go with a bamboo diaper or one made from wood pulp. Bamboo is usually a bit more costly; however, it’s more sustainably sourced. Growing it leaves a small impact on the planet since bamboo doesn’t require fertilizers or pesticides.
If you’re struggling to find a reliable brand, try some of our top choices. I have reviewed some of the most popular green and eco-friendly diapers on the market to give you a list of readily available options.
This option by Little Toes is a smart pick for moms who want something comfortable for their baby’s sensitive skin above all else. Not only is bamboo soft, but it’s also incredibly sustainable. Bamboo requires little water to grow and harvest. You can purchase these in newborn sizes, small, medium, and large. Each pack comes with 36 units. Additionally, Little Toes doesn’t test on animals, so you can feel comfortable knowing you’re making a responsible choice for the Earth and the animals.
- Wetness indicator
- Ideal for sensitive skin
- Made from a sustainable source
- Naturally hypoallergenic
- Little to no leakage
- Can rip on the sides
These work best with smaller children and younger babies. I have found that when using larger sizes, they tend to leak. However, for infants, they are secure and comfortable. The added aloe is also a massive plus for my baby’s dry skin — we didn’t experience any severe rashes or irritation. Most impressively, these also contain a unique substance from Japan known as SUMITOMO Super Absorbent Polymer. This substance is how the product can absorb liquid so well while remaining soft and durable. While these do come in at a slightly higher price tag, they are worth it for mothers who have tried using a green diaper for their babies and had poor results the first time. This diaper could change your mind and is worth trying out. However, you can purchase their 108 count box for a bit of a discount per diaper.
- Lots of sizes to choose from
- Sturdy but comfortable velcro side tape
- Natural aloe added to nourish dry skin
- Made from sustainable bamboo
- A little pricier than other green diaper options
You can purchase these Seventh Generation diapers in size 0 through 6 for a perfect and secure fit. Seventh Generation is quite a transparent brand. They list the ingredients that make up the diaper straight on the box. This popular choice is made from chlorine-free wood fluff pulp, adhesives, polymer spandex, and natural inks and pigments, to name a few. These run a little large, so try a couple of sizes and see which one holds up best. The cute animal prints are a huge plus, and overall these are an affordable option for a ‘green’ diaper. You can also find these at most major retailers, so you never have to worry about running out.
- Cute animal prints
- Specific sizing for a comfortable fit
- Not as leak-proof as other options listed
- They run a little big
Not only is this option responsibly made (they use bamboo as the primary material), their manufacturer is a proud Partner in Hope supporting St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. I feel great about purchasing these since I have found my infant can still move around comfortably. The wetness indicator on the back is also pretty convenient. I chose to buy these after deciding to buy from smaller retailers online. I was not disappointed when trying these out and knew that the softness of the diaper was a plus for my smallest child.
- Thermal regulating
- Triple strength tabs
- Odor resistant
- Wetness indicator strip
- Paper-like texture
- Prone to more leaks
The Earth + Eden diaper is breathable, cruelty-free, and can fit babies weighing 16 to 28 pounds. Their newborn package, however, can easily fit an 8-pound infant. One con I’d like to point out is that the absorption factor can be better. So if you find yourself constantly changing your baby throughout the day, then these may not be for you. They are soft, made in the U.S, and free of harsh chemicals and dyes. Lastly, the cost per diaper is quite fair, and these are my go-to when trying to save some extra money. I’m sure newborn moms on a budget will appreciate these since overall, they work great for smaller children.
- Created in a zero waste landfill facility
- Made in the United States
- Cute and minimal design
- Not bulky
- Lots of sizes to choose from
- May leak through the sides
- They fit smaller children best
Which Diaper Comes Out On Top
Using a green diaper can help ease your conscience about the waste produced in your household. Since they are created using earth-friendly materials such as wood pulp, or bamboo, your baby will feel comfortable, and you’ll be doing the environment a great service. However, if you’re still stuck on which one to choose, not to worry. Personally, my top choice is by the brand