Eco-Facts & Fiction

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Eco-Facts & Fiction
Find out what eco-friendly changes really make a difference and which ones you can skip.

YOU'VE HEARD Opt for cloth diapers
WE SAY Give your washing machine a break
Cloth versus disposable: It's the mother of all eco controversies. At first glance, it may seem like a no-brainer. After all, babies go through an estimated 5,000 diapers before they're toilet trained-that's a lot of plastic piling up in landfills. But when you factor in the water and energy used to wash all those diapers, the choice isn't as clear-cut. In fact, a British study showed that disposable and cloth diapers have the same environmental impact for that very reason.

Then there's the question of convenience. How many bleary eyed, spit up-stained parents really have the time to wash a dozen diapers every day? While there's no such thing as a 100 percent biodegradable disposable, some are better for the environment than others. Companies like Seventh Generation (seventh generation.com), TenderCare (tendercarediapers.com), and Tushies (tushies.com) are made without chlorine, so they don't emit toxins during manufacturing. Also consider GDiapers (gdiapers.com), a hybrid between disposables and cloth. They have a reusable cotton cover that's held on with Velcro, and a liner you flush down the toilet.

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