Posts tagged: environmental awareness

Happy Earth Day! – Flush your diapers for the Earth!

By , April 22, 2007 10:54 am

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day seems like a great day for my final gDiapers, flushable diapers, post. In case you haven’t been enthusiastically following this series of posts (why wouldn’t you??), click on the “Great Diaper Challenge” label in the right sidebar to read about our experiences using flushable diapers.

FINAL UPDATE: The baby’s diaper rash cleared up and we returned to the gDiapers. They are great, but for my very sensitive-bottomed baby (I can’t even use any brand of wipes, just a wet washcloth), we needed to add an extra morning and an extra afternoon change to our schedule. At night I use a disposable because I know her bottom can handle it for that long. In my opinion, two extra changes per day is a small price to pay for helping the environment!

My biggest worry was the flushing issue. But, so far, so good. All the poopy ones have flushed without problem. My compost pile is enjoying the added nitrogen from the wet gDiapers. My septic tank has not overflowed into my yard. My plumber remains unbothered by any agitated calls for help from me. All is well with the world.

ABOUT gDIAPERS:
gDiapers seems to be a very friendly company with lots of support options. The starter kit instructions list an “800” number where they say they will happily talk you through an actual diapering! There is also a helpful Yahoo User Group of 816 “gMums” and Dads at
www.flushability.com. Jason Graham-Nye, the CEO of gDiapers, has an amusing blog gDiapers: the early years, where you can get the latest news. Incidentally, Jason somehow “found” me (isn’t the internet amazing?) and left a very nice comment to my first post – True Confessions.

According to Jason, you can also read about gDiapers in John Kerry & Teresa Heinz Kerry’s book This Moment on Earth: Today’s New Environmentalists and Their Vision for the Future. I have not read it yet, but it is on my list. (Maybe next week when I do less blogging for The TV Turn-Off Week Blog Challenge?)

ENVIRONMENTAL FACTS:
I will close this post with some disposable diaper facts from the gDiapers website:

  • “A disposable diaper takes 500 years to biodegrade”
  • “Last year alone, 18-23 billion diapers went into landfills across America. That works out to be approximately 38,000 every minute and adds up to about 3.5 million tons of waste.”
  • “Conventional disposable diapers are the third largest contributors to landfills in the world and yet only five percent of the population uses them.

If you are currently using cloth diapers, I think you will LOVE these! If you are using disposables there will be a slightly bigger learning curve with a few extra diaper steps (see my “technical” post). But it is worth it.

Try these diapers. You might like them, and I promise that you will feel good about using them! Click here to find out availability in your area, or here to order online.

Days 2 & 3 – Great Diaper Challenge

By , April 9, 2007 11:01 am

We have been doing pretty well with the gDiapers. So far they have all flushed without incident and the wet ones are going in our compost bin. I am getting used to the process of assembly and diapering. It would be a bit easier to do up those velcro fasteners in the back if I didn’t have such a squirmy baby to contend with, but she resists lying still no matter what sort of diaper we are using!

The only problem we have encountered so far is diaper rash. Perhaps my baby is not the ideal test subject since she has always had very sensitive skin. I have never even been able to use baby wipes on her as even the most gentle varieties cause an immediate rash (we have to use a wash cloth). So, whether she is sensitive to the actual substance that the flushable liner is made of, or whether they just don’t “breath” quite as well as disposables, I don’t know. Hopefully it is simply a matter of more frequent changes.

We are taking a break from the gDiapers at the moment until her bottom improves. Then, we will try again with more frequent changes and see if that helps. But overall, I am very impressed with the performance and flushability of the diapers.

Today I post photos of the contents of the starter kit as well as the assembly process. With the starter kit you get two pairs of “little g” pants, two nylon liners, 10 flushable inserts, a “swish stick,” a suction cup to hang the swishstick near the toilet, and an instruction booklet.

First you snap a nylon liner into the pants (see close-up of snap). Then, you place an absorbent pad into the liner, smoothing it into place and creating a u-shape. Lastly, the whole thing goes on baby and the velcro fastens at the back (away from curious little hands that might like to undo it!).

If you live in a less remote area than I do, you can apparently buy the gDiapers at Wild Oats or Whole Foods, plus some other natural foods stores (see online store guide). Unfortunately I have to order mine, which of course means paying shipping. But, if we can get over the rash issue, then I intend to continue with them despite having to order them.

Finally, I have been asked a question about sizing. Small pants are for 6 to 12 lbs, medium are for 13 to 26 lbs, and large fit 27 to 35 lbs. My little girl weighed in at 22 lbs at her 12 month check-up (3 months ago) so I ordered medium. I am not sure about her weight right now (we will soon have the 15 month check-up and find out), but I would say that she will be moving up to the large size pretty soon. You don’t want the pants to be too big, otherwise they will be prone to leaks, however those velcro tabs are seeming a little short right now. If you have a very large child, then I suppose it would be possible to outgrow even the large size before toilet training occurs. If there is a need, perhaps they will eventually make an extra-large size.

Day 1 – Great Diaper Challenge

By , April 7, 2007 8:59 am

OK, I was really hoping for a more gentle learning curve with the flushable diapers, however the baby had a “gastric relapse” yesterday afternoon so, not to be too graphic, we had a maximum experience for our first diaper. Actually, it was not too bad.

Let me explain how it works. There is a cloth outerpant with velcro tabs (see photo). Inside the pants there is a plastic liner that secures in there with snaps. Inside that is where you put the absorbent liner. It was not hard to put on, despite a wriggly, uncooperative baby.

Due to the “situation” that we had, we had a bit of leakage into the plastic liner, but it did not make it to the cloth pants (which, incidentally, was better than the disposables where many times with “tummy upset” it has ended up on the crib sheet). Both the cloth outer pants and the plastic liner are machine washable, so no big deal.

Now, what you have all been waiting for: “The Flush Report!” As I mentioned, we were experiencing perhaps our “most challenged” situation, but I tried not to panic, followed the instructions, and it flushed. According to gDiapers, one of the primary rules, is “know thy toilet.” One of our three toilets tends to be a bit persnickety, so I will avoid that one. But otherwise, our toilets are pretty much middle of the road kind of toilets, and it flushed.

That is our preliminary report. I have not tried nighttime yet. We did a disposable last night. It is advised to consult the website for tips on night diapering, so maybe I will check on that today if I have time. We shall see how it all goes today and I will report back.

THE RESULTS:

Day 1 = success
Plungings = 0
Calls To Plumber = 0

Diaper Central = signing off

Let The "Great Diaper Challenge" Begin!

By , April 6, 2007 8:44 am

Since I really need to improve my environmental karma score (click here to read my “True Confessions”), I thought I ought to try out the new flushable gDiapers.

So…today is the day. The baby is over her gastric upset, and I feel that the time has come to take the plunge (hopefully not the “plunger” – bad pun, I know). We will put on our first gDiaper after the baby’s morning nap. As you can see from the photo, I am fully prepared for all eventualities.

I am sure you will all be anxiously awaiting an update, and I will post daily on our progress. Right now I have to go and put my plumber on speed dial before the baby wakes up!

True Confessions

By , March 23, 2007 8:06 am

One of the things I strive for in life is to make my actions match my intentions. This sounds like an easy task, but why is it so hard sometimes? One of the areas in my life that needs improvement is in my recycling and “zero impact” efforts.

I have a compost bin, but while I was quite diligent about it pre-baby, it has fallen by the wayside over the last year. Somehow, emptying the pail into the bin and cleaning it out was just one more task that I had no time for. Think of all the lovely compost I would have had for my spring garden if I had just kept up with it!

We don’t have much in the way of recycling opportunities here. There is a place to take cardboard, and the local humane society collects aluminum cans. Except for the shipping boxes that I hoard (see post on Stuff), I try to keep up with the miscellaneous cardboard. But sadly, I have not been doing aluminum. My excuse for this: My garage is so disorganized that I have no place for a recycling bin. I know, pretty pathetic excuse, and I hang my head in shame!

The Not Quite Crunchy Parent has been posting about shopping at socially responsible stores (The Not Quite Crunchy Parent: Shopping Green). I would be fine with that, if we had any of those here in the boonies! We do, of course, have a Super Walmart which I avoid as much as possible. I have ordered Seventh Generation toilet paper, trash bags, and paper towels online, but I am not consistent with this.

I have always felt guilty about using disposable diapers. My official public “politically correct” excuse for not using cloth is because of all the water needed for washing. In reality, since I am confessing true sins here, I just think they sound gross.

However, I see here an opportunity to finally make up for my past sins and gain back a little good karma! I have decided to try out the new flushable diapers (have you heard of gDiapers?). In theory they sound great: you flush the poopy ones, and you can either flush, or even compost, the wet ones. My gDiaper starter kit has just arrived and once I figure it out, I will begin “The Great Diaper Challenge.” I will post our progress online, and if it works, hopefully I can encourage others to give it a try and help our environment.

So, if you are curious about the flushable diapers, please keep checking back for daily updates as I try to improve my environmental karma score.

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