Green washing is basically any misleading promotion of an item to appear to be more environmental friendly than what it really is and Huggies’ brand “Pure &Natural” is a great example of it. The packaging itself suggests that it’s a green product with the leaves and grass in the background along with the claim of using organic materials; however the fine print and the lack of statistics/sources proves that it’s not so green after all. Also, the Huggies website indicates that only a small amount of the product is made of renewable materials and that cotton is only used for a small portion on the outer part rather than the inner side. Also, on their website in the FAQs environmental tab, they attempt to claim that diapers aren’t as much of a problem in landfills as statistics make them appear. It also says that biodegradable diapers do not benefit current landfills; therefore nothing should be changed. To an extent this makes sense but if many other diaper companies or other products were made more biodegradable, then landfills would need to change to accommodate the change; meaning that both could be held at fault for not changing to help become more eco-friendly.
So what can be done to fix this? Well, you could decide to get an actual green brand of disposable diapers rather than Huggies pseudo-green brand or even use reusable cloth ones. They could also make the product more green by using organic cotton for more than just the outside part and other biodegradable material. Not just Huggies but several other diaper brands should do this so that the products could break down in landfills more faster and easier. Diapers are already expensive and making them more green would make them even more pricey, so we would need an economic change, a social change, or even both. An economic transformation so that more people would be able to afford the expensive diapers or a social transformation in the U.S. so that more would switch to the classic cloth. Another thing to do is potty train infants around 6-10 months rather than 2-3 yrs old to reduce the amounts of diapers used. It probably sounds ridiculous or impossible to many of you but yes, it’s possible to potty train so early. This would be a good solution because not only would there be less diapers being disposed but you would also save a lot of money. Although it would also be difficult or take awhile before many people decided to potty train sooner because of different beliefs of when would be best to teach infants and most would not want to bother with cloths since diapers are more convenient and don’t need to be washed. Either way, we are going to need a lot of patience before we start seeing some results.
Written by Bianca Nunez