Babies use an average of 6,000 nappies by the time they are toilet trained. All those nappies are being sent to the landfill and take a long time to break down. Disposables are made of materials that do not decompose easily. The untreated waste from diapers also poses a risk of contaminating groundwater.
There are claims that the energy and water needed to wash cloth diapers has just as much of an environmental impact as disposable nappies. This is true to a certain extent, but cleaning cloth diapers usually only accounts for about one or two extra loads of laundry per week. Also, the waste from the diapers is flushed down the toilet where it is treated appropriately.
If you want to get more particular about environmental and monetary costs you can think about your washing costs including laundry detergent (equates to about $250 for 2.5yrs on a cold cycle) and use of energy/water. Cloth nappies generally only need half the recommended dose of powder so less chemicals in our water systems.
We also stock Naturally Oliver Washing Powder clean and simple washing powders that break down easily. Depending on your machine and your washing system this varies greatly but in general it should only be a full load of nappies every second day. Most modern machine do such a good job of washing pre and/or post rinse cycles aren't always necessary and can be done once every few weeks to clear nappies of any build up.