• From Birth to Potty: What 5000 Disposable Diapers per Child Looks Like

    by  • August 10, 2011 • Diaper News, Disposable Diapers, Issues in Diapering • 21 Comments


    Credit Notes: I tried for a long time to find a true “image credit” for this picture as I’ve been seeing it on many forums & Facebook feeds, but I couldn’t find the original source.  If you know where it has come from or who owns the rights to it, please let me know so I can give proper credit.  Thank you!


    21 Responses to From Birth to Potty: What 5000 Disposable Diapers per Child Looks Like

    1. Christy
      August 10, 2011 at 3:45 pm

      >ummmm, WOW! That is just insane! That gives me some serious guilt over the fact that my son never wore cloth, my first daughter didn't switch over until she was 2 and my second daughter was 1. I guess some is better than nothing.

    2. Indu
      August 10, 2011 at 5:07 pm

      >We have been doing cloth since our little one was born, and we are so glad we did it. It isnt as much wrk as we thought it would be, and it is a cleaner alternative for our little one.

    3. Beth @ Sand To Pearl
      August 10, 2011 at 5:07 pm

      >Someone should also make a pile of dollar bills to show how many are wasted by using disposable. Then have a kid sitting on that pile of money, with a caption about a college fund.

    4. Everything Cloth
      August 10, 2011 at 5:23 pm

      >Beth, what a totally great point. I think the pile of money would be even larger than the pile of diapers! :O

    5. Nev
      August 10, 2011 at 7:40 pm

      >Another great photo would be of the chemicals they use in containers as to how much is being used for all of these…


    6. Anonymous
      August 10, 2011 at 10:11 pm

      >There should be flies or gnats in the picture too. Before we started cloth there was always bugs flying around the can with the diapers in it.

    7. Ginamarie
      August 11, 2011 at 4:53 am

      >wow… thats crazy and disgusting. It took us till DD was about 9 months to switch to cloth, and I am so glad that we did. I dont think people realize that we wont being to survive without this planet… and if we keep treating it the way we are, it wont be here to support us anymore.
      (sorry about the mis-post earlier. I meant to say "it took us" not "it took u". I felt so bad when my husband told me it read that way!)

    8. info
      August 11, 2011 at 4:02 pm



    9. Anonymous
      August 12, 2011 at 4:21 pm

      >W-O-W! I wonder if the disposable diaper companies have found a way to make them biodegradable yet.

    10. loveinthenest
      August 15, 2011 at 4:38 pm

      >WOOOoooooah! That's crazy!

    11. Gina
      August 26, 2011 at 11:17 pm

      >I posted this on my FB so my friends could see!

    12. Anna
      August 28, 2011 at 12:35 pm

      >Anon, some nappies are advertised as biodegradable but they have to be PROPERLY disposed of in a compost – you cant just chuck em in the bin.

    13. Anonymous
      August 29, 2011 at 6:09 am

      >Thats shocking!! Im just in the process of making all of our cloth nappies for our bubba who is due anytime now 🙂 and after listening to some stories and my mum – im gonna try cloth wipes at home too. My Partner and i also decided just for fun to roughly put away each week what we would spend if we were to use disposables into our trust fund for our baby 🙂

    14. The Extraordinary Baby Shoppe
      September 4, 2011 at 2:04 am

      >It's clearly a photoshopped picture, I have to wonder what the basis is behind it for claiming this is what 5000 diapers looks like. I am quite surprised at how small the pile is,

      susie 😉

    15. jdm2551
      September 12, 2011 at 6:38 pm

      >Ewww! Thanks for sharing! More ppl ought to see this!! I have been cloth diapering my baby girl since birth. I wish I would have done so with my first two but had no idea people still used cloth!

      New follower! I'd love for you to follow my green blog 🙂

    16. Sal
      September 15, 2011 at 4:04 am

      >I did a reverse image search and found a secondary source giving credit to the primary (http://www.ecoaction.com.au/category.php?id=52). It appears the baby may have been photoshopped into the original. Anyway, the University of Surrey are apparently the owners of the image so just thought I'd pass the info on 🙂

    17. Donna
      October 16, 2011 at 3:33 am

      >Perhaps someone could also show how much coal fired electricity was used to wash 5000 (uses) diapers, and how many lbs of laundry detergent etc and how many gallons of fresh, pure water was used. After all, fresh pure water is at a premium. There are trade offs but it is not always easy…

    18. Huncut Knitter
      December 16, 2011 at 8:49 am

      >Donna, there is also a lot of fresh pure water, and coal fired electricity wasted to make a disposable diaper, not to mention the oil, trees etc. At least the water used to wash the cloth diapers can be recycled and turned back into clean drinking water either by nature if you have a septic system or if you have city water your municipality does it at their water treatment site. And washing diapers doesn't take a lot of detergent either. You use less than you do to wash your cloths. Typically 1tbs to 1/8 tsp if you have really soft water.

    19. Anonymous
      December 17, 2011 at 5:31 am

      >Donna, I wash used cloth diaper daily along with dirty clothes. Surprisingly we just wash once (with washing machine) like usual, with less detergent. So no wasted water in my opinion 🙂

    20. Pingback: Going Cloth « Breath of Sunshine

    21. Irina
      November 26, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      I’m just a freshman when it comes to CD, just making the switch. Donna, I use the water that is being wasted when waiting for the hot before the shower to clean the CD’s, with a portable washer set up in my bathroom filling from the shower (shower hoses are amazing!). So it is pure water that would have ended up in the drain anyway, been given a use. With 24 gallons total, I get aprox. 8 lb of CD, which includes some 10 prefolds, 2 pockets, 4 inserts, 4 doublers and some 3 or 4 covers. That’s the equivalent of 14 disposables aprox. and it includes the pre soaking. So, by the time my little one is potty trained, I will have used some 8500 gallons of water. Aprox. what you waste by flushing the toilet in a couple of years, so, I would guess, it’s the same as being potty trained.

      Oh, I’ll leave some PUL non biodegradable in the environment. 14 covers….. (compare to 5000), and I may donate them once I’m done with all my children.

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