I haven't said much about them...because I find there isn't much to say...in a good way. They have become such a part of our daily lives that they seem inconsequential...which is ridiculous...because our diapering choices make a pretty big impact on the environment as a whole as well as our own micro-environments in our daily lives.
So let me start by saying I absolutely, without question, 100% recommend using gDiapers over disposable AND over cloth diapers.
Let me also follow that up by saying that while the above is my recommendation, it is based on my experience, with my background, and my daily living needs and in my corner of the world. So if it doesn't seem like it would work for you, or if other options are more practical in YOUR corner of YOUR world, than by all means go right ahead and do what is best for you.
But, to back up my first statement, I would like to present some information on cloth diapering vs. disposable diapering which after all of the research I did is nicely summed up by this statement from www.ahealthyme.com/:
Cloth vs. Disposable Diapers
By Chris Woolston
Before your baby is born, you should take time to make the great diaper decision: cloth or disposable? Both types have pluses and minuses, and neither option is clearly superior. Most parents today opt for disposable diapers, but some parents continue to swear by old-fashioned cloth. You may even go for a combination: cloth diapers at home and disposable when you go out. If you haven't already made up your mind, here are some factors to consider:
*Cost. Disposable diapers typically cost as little as 20 cents each, and deluxe brands can cost as much as 50 cents or more. The average baby goes through about 7,000 diapers before toilet training, so that adds up to real money. In contrast, it only costs about 3 cents in water, power, and detergent to wash a cloth diaper. (If you use a diaper service, it pretty much eliminates the cost savings, though.) Over the long haul, you can save over $1,200 per child by using cloth diapers.
However, you should also consider what your time is worth. Cloth diapers can mean an extra hour of work every week. If an hour of your time is worth $10, those savings will essentially disappear.
*Convenience. Disposable diapers are the clear winner when it comes to convenience. No pins, no pails, no folding, no washing. Disposable diapers are especially handy if you don't have a washer and dryer or if you're traveling.
*Environmental impact. If you don't like the thought of throwing 7,000 diapers in a landfill, you might want to choose cloth diapers instead. A single cloth diaper can be reused up to 75 times, making it an attractive choice for people who want to cut down on trash. But there's a tradeoff: It takes about 50 gallons of water and a fair amount of energy to wash a load of cloth diapers. The Union of Concerned Scientists, a coalition of scientists and citizens dedicated to protecting the world's environment, says parents shouldn't worry too much about how their choice of diaper affects the environment. Other choices -- such as which car to buy -- are far more important, the group says.
*Comfort. Disposable diapers are generally more absorbent than cloth diapers, so they can keep your baby's skin dry. On the downside, it can be harder to tell when a disposable diaper needs to be changed. Some parents get complacent and go for hours between changes, potentially setting their baby up for a diaper rash.
If you decide to use cloth diapers, choose a kind that has several layers of different types of fabric. These will absorb moisture better than a diaper with just a single layer of fabric. No matter what type of diaper you use, check them often and change them when they're wet or messy.
*Leaks. Disposable diapers can soak up more urine than cloth diapers, so they are less prone to leak. They're a little bit better at holding in feces, too.
Either way you go, at some point there's probably a disposable diaper in your future. During toilet training some people opt for disposable pull-ups that fit the baby like underwear -- and they're handy for young children who occasionally wet the bed at night as well.
If you still can't decide, don't worry: you'll have 7,000 chances to find a diaper that's right for you and your baby.
-- Chris Woolston, MS, is a health and medical writer with a master's degree in biology. He is a contributing editor at Consumer Health Interactive and was a staff writer at Hippocrates, a magazine for physicians. His reporting for CHI on occupational health earned him an award from the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists
For me, the two most important factors in our decision on diapering were ease of use and environmental impact. But as for the latter, you can see in the above, the argument isn't so cut-and-dry. And he doesn't even mention the negative affects cloth diapering can have on the water system, especially if people use diaper creams with zinc in them, nor does he talk about the huge environmental impact of diapering services and the vast amounts of chemicals they use to get all of those dirty diapers so clean, not to mention the fossil fuels used weekly for their trucks to go around and make all of their pick ups/drop offs.
But I did wonder where this Union of Concerned Scientists was and if they had anything more to say on the matter. Turns out they do...on their website where it states this:
On what basis do you claim that cotton diapers have no clear environmental advantage over disposables?
Several studies have compared cloth and disposable diapers. Disposable diapers produce more solid waste, but laundering cloth diapers requires more water and probably more energy. Exactly how these different impacts balance out isn't clear. Even if disposable diapers turned out to be marginally better than cloth or vice versa, neither is likely to have a dramatic advantage. Therefore, people shouldn't worry too much about which one is environmentally preferable. Other consumer decisions, such as what type of car to buy, are much more important for the environment.
Ok...so those people clearly think it is a wash (pun not intended) so then I started to wonder about an option that was better than both options, aside from elimination communication which seems like the perfect answer but seriously wouldn't work for my lifestyle.
And then I found gDiapers.
The cloth outer and nylon liner have no plastic (aside from four small snaps to attach the liner to the outer) and the biodegradable inserts have three processing options. 1) If they are poopy, they flush down the toilet and go where poop is supposed to go; instead of into our water systems. 2) If they are wet, they are compostable; so not only are you choosing to not throw something out, but you are creating a soil amendment. 3) If all else fails and you do end up throwing one out, you can rest easy knowing that less petroleum went into creating the insert than into a conventional disposable diaper and while nothing truly biodegrades in a landfill, they certainly won't last 500 years like a disposable.
There is so much more written over at the gDiaper site about the great debate on the environmental impact of cloth vs. disposables, how the composting of gDiapers works, what they are made of, and their 100% Biodegradable Claim. And yes, I know that it is all marketing copy, but I do encourage you to read it if you are in the process of choosing your diapering system.
As always, there are a million factors that go into everyone's personal decisions about what systems they plan to use for their children; and what works for one person may not work for someone else no matter how much they want it to. For instance, someone in a dry, desert-like climate who wants to use cloth diapers may find that due to their water circumstances, disposables are a better option for them. What matters is that we look into these options and make choices that are responsible and practical within our means.
So to all my pregnant and new mom readers...what diaper system will you be using/do you use and what went into making that decision for your family?