The “Green” Diaper
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.
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


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.


Greenwashing Disposable Diapers

Sal Popal
Some alternatives to disposable diapers are cloth diapers. If more people used cloth diapers, they would save lots of money and using cloth diapers is actually better for the environment because disposable diapers create waste in landfills. Disposable diapers are the third most common consumer product in landfills. With cloth diapers, you never run out of diapers, so there is no reason to stress about having to go to the store to purchase more diapers. Diapers are expensive and I believe that using cloth diapers is a cheap and great alternative to disposable diapers. Cloth diapers are mainly used by people, that truly care about the environment.

Another alternative that I believe is worth a shot, is for parents to use buckets and try and teach their baby’s how to poop and pea, before they are even ready to be potty trained. Parents could walk around with a bucket in hand all day at their house if needed and they could try an catch their baby’s poop and urine. It is possible that the bucket method could even speed up the potty training process for babies. Once the baby is ready to be potty trained, it could be a much smoother transition because the babies were taught to poop an pea in a bucket. There are some countries, that actually use this method. My aunt that lives in Sweden did this for her kids because she couldn’t afford to buy all those disposable diapers. I believe that if more parents actually tried this method, they would be much happier because they would not have to spend thousands of dollars for disposable diapers. In order for parents to get involved and for this social transformation to be possible, I believe that there has to be some big named people out there in the world, such as celebrities, that use this method on their babies. Then a lot of parents that love those celebrities, will be inspired by them and would then try the method on their baby’s because celebrities can easily influence people to buy things, for example; kind of like how Lebron James makes people want to buy his shoes. This may sound stupid, but maybe one day, someone can invent some type of sensor, that parents can attach to their baby’s body, that would be able to tell the parents, when the baby is about to urinate or poop. Then the parent’s could run and get that bucket or have it there already and be ready to catch their baby’s poop or urine.

If all parents implemented these two methods that I discussed. There would be no need for disposable diapers to be made and the environment would then be better off, however I believe that this a long shot from happening and disposable diapers will always be there and people will waste thousands, while diaper companies will make fortunes off of parents. Disposable diapers can claim to be going green as much as they want, but they will still hurt the environment.


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

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