I try really hard to do the right thing.
Whether that’s down to cutting down on wasting water to recycling as much of the household waste as I can. So when it comes to the question of nappies you’d think it would be pretty clean cut, wouldn’t you?
It was actually a tougher decision to go with reusable nappies than you’d think.
Firstly, there’s cost. It seems so straight forward. Re-using a nappy is going to be way more cost effective than buying disposables, surely? However the initial costs are off putting. For example, I can buy 60 Pampers disposable nappies for about £10, but one Bumgenious reusable nappy comes to about £16.
The Cost Of Reusable Nappies
You’d need to buy more than one, obviously, and I’ve estimated that between washing cycles and ad hoc washes and drying, I think we can get away with 20 nappies. This comes to about £300. Factoring in different sizes as my baby grows, I’m thinking of another 20 nappies. This makes the overall total £600.
That’s the extent to which my maths knowledge runs, so I went and found some numbers on how many nappy changes a baby will have in total. The figure comes to around 4,700 changes. That’s about 78 packs of 60 disposable nappies, coming in at a total of £780. By getting reusable nappies, I’m saving about £180.
Here’s the rub, I’ll probably spend that on washing powder.
Ethics Over Convenience
So with the decision of cost sort of balancing out, there’s the ethical side of things to look at. How much will by baby’s dirty nappies contribute to landfill? This is a heck of a lot easier to work out. As I mentioned earlier, 4,700 changes, 4,700 nappies. It’s too big a number to ignore, and no other working out is really needed. On the other hand, if there’s no other use for the Bumgenius nappies and they’re just thrown away, that’s about 40. Not much of an argument there.
I know exactly what you’re thinking: that’s all well and good, but the constant washing is a nightmare! There’s so much other stuff to do, and all that extra washing is a pain. Well yes it is. I’m not exactly the kind of person that likes to make work for themselves. But if you think about how many times you wash their clothes and socks and things, it’s actually not much more work.
The trick is to always have back up. And when things get really tough, the odd emergency trip to buy some disposable nappies won’t make you a terrible human being. Trust me.