From the time Little A was born, I wished there was a way that his nappies could be treated so they could biodegrade more easily. Babies can go through 8-12 nappies a day, particularly in the early months when they poop so often. And since he became mobile so quickly, it was difficult to put him in cloth nappies as one wee meant he was crawling about and slipping in wet patches. Plus, cloth nappies may not be as ecologically efficient as we think, given the amount of washing they need, which uses plenty of water and laundry detergent.
Recently, chlorine free and eco-friendly disposable nappies became available locally. Not only are they significantly cheaper than their non-eco-friendly counterparts, they are completely biodegradable and hypoallergenic. I purchased some, and Little A has been wearing them for a week now.
While the nappies are not as well-made as their polluting cousins (one in five comes with different tapes on the sides, with one plastic one and one soft breathable side one, some are not too well sealed, so balls of stuffing come out and can be eaten by curious children, and some aren't very absorbent, as the pee just goes straight through the back of them as I found out at a too-early hour this morning) they are, by and large, a good choice. I can't help but think of the massive savings I would have in the bank now if Little A had been using these for the past year and 11 months, but comfort myself with the fact that they weren't available sooner and that by breastfeeding I've saved significantly anyway.
So Little A's Little Carbon Footprint is smaller now, and it should continue to reduce in size once he is toilet trained. In the meantime, we will keep on using the earth-friendly nappies. Now if only they came in pull-up form.