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Create A Better Future

Water Usage and Cloth Nappies

Water use is a real problem for Australians and a problem in many other countries. It is true that we care about how much water we use and do everything we can to reduce our consumption.  Just don't think the water we use to wash our reusable cloth diapers is a valid argument against using it unless you have water in the tank or if you limit your access to water.

There is a tendency to have two water-based arguments against the use of cloth diapers.

1. That the price of water and energy used to wash cloth diapers means that cloth and disposable diapers are ultimately the same prices and thus have no benefit. That's really wrong. They can't even come close to the price difference between disposable wipes and diapers. See below for links to calculations.

2. There are several studies comparing disposable diapers and cloth diapers, including their water consumption. People often don't realize that large amounts of water are used to make disposable diapers. In fact, making disposable diapers uses the same amount of water as making and washing reusable cotton diapers at home. 

The argument that disposable diapers are made overseas, where there is no problem with water shortages, is also false. Check the packaging at the supermarket – many brands of disposable diapers are made here in Australia, using Australian water and resources.

The study also suggests that soiled diapers are soaked – so this amount can be removed when dry, as we recommend. If you use the same diaper for more than one child, you are even more advanced.