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Making Cloth Diapers Even Greener

Recently I was at a tradeshow, and two women walked past my booth. One said to the other "everyone says cloth diapers are better for the environment, but you have to wash them, so it's just as bad as disposables."  
Cloth diapers have much less impact on the environment, in resource and energy use and especially in the amount of waste created. 
There is a hidden environmental benefit to using cloth diapers as well: since our daily cloth diapering routine impacts our resource use, we have more control over it, and more of an awareness of it (especially if you are paying the hydro bill!) 
Here are some ideas for around the house to help you be even greener (and many of them will save money too)!

Cloth Diaper Laundry

Laundry is the main way that cloth diapers use energy and use resources. Reduce that impact by: 
  • Hang dry your diapers. It'll use less energy and make your diapers last longer
  • Use an environmentally friendly detergent
  • Add other dirty clothes (baby clothes work awesome) to your diaper laundry (after the pre-rinse if you find this icky). You'll reduce the number of loads your household does
  • Have enough diapers to do laundry every 2-3 days instead of daily

Water Use

Overall, disposables use much more water to produce, but less of your own household water. You can make up for your diapers' additional water usage by:
  • Flushing less often (if its yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down!)
  • Taking shorter showers (you are a parent, long showers went out the window with sleep, eating sitting down and privacy any way)
  • Water your garden with harvested rainwater caught in rain barrels
  • Plant water wise plants around your home
  • Stop watering your lawn and tell your neighbours you are going green (added bonus - you don't have to water the lawn!)
  • Fix any leaking taps around the house
  • Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth - water comes out 2.5 gallon per minute. Turn off the faucet after you wet your brush,  and only turn back on when you need to rinse. 
  • Replace old toilets with low flow, efficient shower heads and faucets, water sense rated dishwasher and washing machines
  • Don't run your dishwasher or washing machine until its full
  • Water your plants in the early morning - the cooler weather means less water to evaporate 

What other ideas do you save water around the home? Let's keep the conversation going.

For great laundry products check out here.

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