The Five Bestselling Chlorine-Free Disposable Diapers

(Drum roll, please . . . ) In fifth place, we have Bambo Nature Eco-friendly Diapers.

Tushies Diapers come in strong in fourth place.

Nature Babycare Eco-friendly Chlorine-free Diapers take the bronze medal in the chlorine-free diaper Olympics.

In second place, we have Earth’s Best Tender Care Chlorine Free Diapers.

And, in first place–not much of a surprise here–Seventh Generation Free and Clear Baby Diapers.

What an exciting countdown that was! Now, if you want to learn more about chlorine free disposables (what’s the big deal about chlorine-free diapers? Are chlorine-free diapers better for the environment than cloth? Which eco-disposables do we recommend? Which are the best deal?), you’re going to want to get your hands on The Eco-nomical Baby Guide.
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Greener Disposables—Compare and Contrast

It’s been a while since we’ve discussed chlorine-free disposable diapers on this site and in our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide. With my diapering days well behind me, I haven’t been able to try any of these out on a real-life baby. Has anyone had a chance to compare the brands below? Which do you prefer, and why?

Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Baby Diapers

Earth’s Best TenderCare Chlorine Free Diapers

Nature Babycare Eco-friendly Chlorine-free Diapers

Tushies Diapers

gDiapers

Bambo Nature Chlorine-free Eco-friendly Baby Diapers

Am I leaving out a great brand of chlorine free disposables? I know Whole Foods makes a store brand that ends up being more cost effective than Seventh Generation. What else do we need to know in this complicated world of greener sposies?

Eco-confession: I bought regular diapers!

First the good news: In the 2.5 years my daughter wore diapers, I bought just six packs of disposables. I thought that was pretty impressive, though I’m sure some of the cloth diaper aficionados around here managed to do even better. We used cloth for nighttime and nap time and even managed to use cloth on a few vacations. The disposables came in handy for a few trips that involved plane travel and lack of laundry facilities.


Photographic evidence

Now, the bad news: None, and I mean zero, of those six packs were Seventh Generation diapers or Nature babycare or gDiapers. No, we used . . . the generic brand we found at Fred Meyer. How could I commit such an eco-atrocity? Well, I’ve got to say that I just couldn’t stand the idea of paying so much more for chlorine-free diapers. (The only difference between regular and “greener” disposables is that the eco-disposables are made from chlorine-free tree pulp. Check out our post on the anatomy of a disposable if you want to know what else is in those plastic diapers.)
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Anatomy of a Disposable Diaper

Ever wonder what a disposable diaper is made out of?

The “breathable” outer layer is typically made of polyethylene, a thermoplastic.  Inside that you’ll find a blend of cellulose pulp (in most brands, wood pulp is bleached with chlorine) and absorbent polymers.  You may also find Velcro or adhesive tabs, chemical “wetness indicators” that change colors to show when the diaper is wet, and scents or lotions.


Check out this website for more detail on how a disposable diaper is made.

Most diaper companies do not use recycled materials to make their diapers, so the wood pulp is derived from freshly-harvested trees.  The polymers that keep disposables dry on the outside and absorbent on the inside are petroleum products, but in the future manufacturers could try making these layers out of recycled milk jugs.  (I am not a chemical engineer, so someone correct me if this idea isn’t feasible.)  Even Seventh Generation, who makes a chlorine-free disposable diaper, does not use any recycled materials for the poly-wraps on their diapers and training pants.  Their website says they plan to “upgrade this to 50% recycled content” in 2008.  We’re not sure if they accomplished this goal or not!
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Green Baby Guide’s Sunday Round-Up of Great Green Posts

Mindful Momma lists some Good Green Reads for the Preschool Set.   If you are looking for some picture books with environmental themes that will please your young children, check it out.

Nature Moms reviewed Wysi Wipes, “an alternative to pre-moistened towelettes, facial tissue or paper towels.”  They come in tiny tablets, and you just add water to moisten them.  They’re compostable and biodegradable, so they’re better for the environment than your standard throw-away tissues.

Eco Child’s Play found some Eco-friendly, Solar-powered Night Lights that both young and old kids will appreciate.

Not Quite Crunchy Parent offers tips for getting your kids to talk about their day.  The comments section adds even more ideas that I’m tucking away for the future, once Audrey outgrows her “chattering toddler” phase.
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Organic Diaper Cakes Made from Nature BabyCare Eco-friendly Disposables (Giveaway!)

Grow In Style, an “organic diaper cake company,” would like to offer one of our readers this Organic 3 Tier Fall Fantasy Diaper Cake, made of forty size 1 Nature BabyCare diapers–a $39.00 value!  While we here at The Green Baby Guide love cloth, it’s nice to have a disposable diaper that’s greener than conventional brands.  Nature BabyCare diapers don’t use chlorine bleach and are free from oil based plastic.  Read a review of them on Baby Cheapskate.

Here’s some information Grow In Style gave us about Nature BabyCare diapers and their company:

About Nature BabyCare Disposable Diapers

Nature BabyCare Diapers are one of the two leading Eco Friendly Disposable Diaper Brands available to today’s market.  They are soft, breathable, chlorine free, and made with natural based material for natural protection.  There are absolutely no oil based plastics used in the making of the diapers, so no toxins come in touch with the delicate baby skin. Nature BabyCare went an extra step with the packaging which is based on 100% natural, renewable material providing an all around eco friendly product.
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How Much Money Do Cloth Diapers Save?: A Cloth vs. Disposable Cost Comparison

Consumer Reports estimates you’ll spend $1500-2000 for disposable diapers before your child is potty trained.  Can you save by using cloth?  Yes!  The cheapest option, prefolds plus covers, can cost as little as $243 over 2.5 years—that includes washing and drying expenses.  An all-in-one (such as this one by bumGenius) or pocket diaper (such as a Fuzzibunz) can cost around $17 each, so people tend to buy fewer and wash them more often, raising the total price over 2.5 years to $792.  To see our calculations and learn how to save money using cloth diapers, keep reading.

Prefolds: The Cheapest Diapering Option.  My daughter just turned two.  According to my obsessively detailed calculations, I spent $129.50 on the first year and $66 on the second.  I don’t foresee buying any more supplies, so after 2.5 years (the average age of potty training), I’ll have spent $213.50 diapering my child.  That figure includes all my cloth diapers, some disposables for travel, and washing and drying.
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