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The “Green” Diaper

http://www.blisstree.com/2009/08/24/sex-relationships/huggies-goes-green-well-at-least-goes-greenwashing/
In their press release, Kimberly-Clark Corporation says that Huggies Pure & Natural diapers are “A super premium diaper that includes natural, organic materials and ingredients to provide gentle protection for new babies, as well as initial steps toward environmental improvements, without sacrificing performance.”
While yes it is stated that these diapers are Hypoallergenic, latex and fragrance free, that does not necessarily mean that they are the best environmentally friendly diaper on the market. They feature a breathable cover that includes organic cotton why is all the “organic” material located on the part of the diaper that does not actually come into contact with the baby’s skin. Whereas the liner includes natural aloe & vitamin E materials from renewable source as well as containing SAP (Sodium Poluacrylate) which has been banned from tampons since 1985 dues to its involvement in toxic shock syndrome in women, as well as being lethal to cats when it is inhaled. If that still sounds safe to put on your babies bottom be warned that it also can cause severe diaper rash and bleeding.
Greenwashing: Huggies Pure & Natural
The products outer packaging is sourced from 20% post-consumer recycled materials. So the plastic that isn’t even in the diaper itself just the outer packaging is recycled, and not even a large amount of it only 20%. What does that have to do with the eco-friendliness for the diapers themselves? Nothing, the outer packaging isn’t going to come into contact with the child therefore it has no actual involvement in making the diapers themselves any better for the environment.
http://wellnessmama.com/3692/why-cloth-diaper/
While cloth diapers can be seen as the messier choice they also have many draws that make them a better choice when someone is looking for a ”greener” version of a diaper. With the cloth diapers you know exactly what you are putting on your child and there are no added chemicals which disposable diapers contain. Another plus of cloth diapers is that they are also a cheaper alternative to disposable, so not only will you be avoiding all those unwanted additives, but also be saving money in the long run, and reducing the amount of waste that is caused from throwing away all those disposable diapers.
-Holly Davis

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Green Bum

Mariam Mirza

Today I present to you a diaper that is also eco-friendly. Realizing how much space and money it takes to purchase diapers it just keeps adding up. With that going eco-friendly to help with the environment was a positive benefit as an outcome. Is it really though? Are we being misinformed or being led on? That is where we are being green washed or as they say “brainwashed”. As much as the outside of the box looks eco-friendly with the color green all over, it is hiding much of that dirt in the label section. Having done research found some dirt on how this is considered green washing. They cannot confirm if they are free of fragrance. Also don’t warn us about the gel they use to keep the diapers absorbent.

As considering it is taking an approach towards the eco-friendly and making it green shows the customer it is supporting a good cause. The box in color green shows awareness for our planet. Another thing that caught my attention was the different races of babies shown on the ads and boxes. This promotes the product to many different people making it a favorite for many. The wide variety of selection in sizes is also a smart idea for keeping the customers with them throughout the baby’s diaper years. This will help the company make more profit in the long run. Marketing is a big way to keep a product in the eye for the customers of today. Like many people, when it comes to their child they want the best of the best. By marketing the Huggies diapers with logos of organic and green signs shows the customer it will be the best for their kid. Today’s technology being so advanced is able to promote the product online and give some facts and details before the customer purchases. Also available for an online purchase it benefits the companies make profit in that sense as well. Instead of still using chemicals to make the dye of the diaper appear white even after the baby goes potty, having it stick to the old roots and making it a cloth diaper. This also is recyclable. In the long run this could benefit the company as well.

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Saving Our Poopy Planet, Honestly!

Victoria Cox

The Honest Company is a new line of eco-friendly baby products. This company is a huge example of green washing because people always feel better when using environmentally friendly products with their children (this helps them feel as if they are helping the planet a little more by going ‘green’). This is a company that qualifies as green washing because they are putting a whole new out look on baby products, and not just eco- healthy diapers and wipes. The Honest Company has taken their eco-friendliness to a different height by creating waste –reducing soaps, shampoos, healing balms, detergents, detangling spray, cleaning products, etc. The products they create that are plant based products as well as packaging that is renewable. I would say that The Honest company would suggest that we change almost everything that pertains to baby products, I think that they are trying to become the new and improved and eco-friendly baby product company. They are expecting people follow in their footsteps and redesign their whole dynamic.

A less green washed version of the company would have to be cloth diapers. This is a better solution than plant based product (such as The Honest Company) because this idea expands reduce, reuse, and recycle. Cloth diapers reduce the amount of waste being sent out because they are machine washable. A major obstacle in changing to cloth diapers would have to be keeping the stench of messy butts out of the diaper (even after a cycle in the washing machine). To make this product into a reality, we would have to come up with a eco-friendly and baby-friendly non harmful chemical to revamp (refresh) the diaper to make sure it is sanitary (especially after a poopy diaper,yuck!) Another obstacle to overcome in creating a cloth diaper would have to be the storage…think about it for a second, if you send you baby to their childcare center and they poop, what to do with the stinky diaper until you get home to put it in the washer? Putting the diaper in a bag would be the most logical answer, but wouldn’t the bag have a stench? Yes, but if we could create a bag with a baking soda insole so it was soak up the stinky diaper smell (the baking soda insole would be re-changeable). This could be a HUGE economic transformation because it, first and foremost, will create a whole new job market including; scientist, factory workers, etc. The downfall to this product would be that instead of throwing the dirty diaper in the can, washing the diaper daily would be a mandatory duty…this would cut back on the whole reduce notion. Honestly (ha, no pun intended), this cloth diaper movement could create a whole new social transformation as well. This could be a new social norm which could change the way we look at diapering our babies forever, breaking societal norms in terms of baby care.

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Huggies – Pure & Natural

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