Becoming crunchy: I signed up for EarthBaby’s compostable diaper service

I have a confession to make: so far, my baby has been toxic for the environment. She’s been wearing conventional, single-use diapers that are ending up in a landfill somewhere (they may be from Whole Foods, but I know that doesn’t make a difference).

I know, I know, shame on me! I DO feel ashamed, actually, to know that I am contributing to the solid-waste nightmare that is “disposable” diapers.  WHY did I make such a decision, especially when I own 3 Bum Genius reusable cloth diapers? Three reasons, actually.

  1. I can’t figure out how the heck to use the Bum Genius diapers, as there aren’t any diagrams on the box.
  2. I can’t figure out what to do with the diaper once it’s been soiled…I mean, it can’t go directly into the washer, right? I may not have enough other clothes to wash with it right away, and it can’t just sit in there, soaked in poop and pee, can it?
  3. I hate to touch poop! Even my own baby’s poop. Everyone told me I wouldn’t mind when I had my own baby, and I believed them. Well, it’s not true – I MIND! Every time I open up that diaper to see that she’s pooped, I get a mini-panic attack and use up 17 wipes (or so) just so I don’t get it on my fingers. What does me not wanting to touch poop have to do with using cloth diapers, you say? Nothing, I know. I know that in theory, whether it’s cloth or disposable, you are supposed to put solid poopies in the toilet and flush them. But with a disposable diaper, you get this illusion that you can just wrap up the poopie diaper and put it in the trash, and no one will know any better. Except the environment. And that’s what exactly what I do. Ugh, you say, how can you call yourself a Holistic Mama? I couldn’t agree more.

So, why haven’t I signed up for a cloth diapering service? Actually, there are a few mental hurdles I have there as well. For one thing, they pick up once a week – so where do the dirty diapers sit until then? In a vat of hydrogen peroxide? That doesn’t seem very environmentally friendly to me. For another, I’ve read that cloth diapering services launder their diapers to such a high standard that they use an average of 13 water changes per load. That seems like a lot of water! Is that good for the environment?

So there I am at the BABI Fair on Saturday, and I run across Mark Siminoff from EarthBaby. EarthBaby is based in the town where I live, and their mission is to eliminate disposable diapers and wipes from landfills altogether by composting all of their diapers. From what I can tell, how it works is, you buy all your diapers and wipes from them (they have to control what goes into their composting process). You then put all the used diapers and wipes in a compostable bio-bag, and they pick it up off your doorstep once a week. It costs just under $30 a month (plus the cost of the diapers and wipes, of course). And finally, you can leave the poopie in the diaper…it just goes into the compost and turns into topsoil like all the rest of it. Ha! I was sold – and mostly for the last reason. So I signed up on the spot and will be diverting my first load of poopie diapers from the landfill next week. Yay, no more guilt!


About Mare

is a Master Herbalist, Certified Aromatherapist, and enthusiastic natural mommy to a beautiful tot of 2, the Little Apple. She shares her parenting adventures (sometimes mis-adventures) via this blog.
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4 Responses to Becoming crunchy: I signed up for EarthBaby’s compostable diaper service

  1. Jessica says:

    Hello! I came across your blog via google search for diapers that compost.
    How are you liking your service?? I am considering this as an option (I am due in May) …and would love to know more about your experience so far!

    • Mare says:

      Hi there Jessica, thank you so much for writing me! Actually, I really, really, really like the service. Every Tuesday morning, I put my dirty diapers in a compostable trash bag and leave it on my “porch.” Tuesday afternoon, I get a paper bag full of new diapers and wipes, like clockwork. If I ever leave on vacation or need to cancel a delivery, I just send an email and boom! It’s done. No hassle, no red tape. Every once in a while, I’ll need them to bring me another delivery of bio bags or compostable disposal bags, so I just email them and boom! That’s done too. I really feel good about doing this.

      The ONLY ONLY thing, and it is a small thing, that I SOMEWHAT dislike is this: I send my little one to day care, and I send along a compostable disposal bag with the instructions to put her used diapers in there so I can bring them back home and have the compostable service pick them up (otherwise, her diapers would just go into the landfill and defeat the entire purpose). Well, when she gets home, her entire diaper bag *stinks* like crazy because, well, all her used diapers are in there. Like I said, it’s a small thing. :-)

      Anyway, you will love it. I think it’s the best of both worlds. Cloth diapers = laundry and use of water, while conventional disposable diapers = landfill. I really think this is best for the environment, personally. Hope this helps!!

  2. Brendon says:

    I have been using EarthBaby for several months now and also LOVE the ease as well as the high level of customer service. However, while I understand that compostable diapers will not properly compost in a landfill due to not having the right mixture of air, heat, etc., they are still made of corn and human waste…won’t those deteriorate over time (albeit more slowly)? I can’t find much online to explain to me why compostable diapers in the landfill are as bad as disposables, but that seems to be what “they” say. Any help/links would be appreciated!

    • Mare says:

      Hi Brendon, thanks very much for writing. I wish I had some good resources to help explain this, too, but unfortunately, I do not. I have read that nothing degrades well in a landfill, period, but I don’t quite understand why a compostable diaper would not degrade “better” than a conventional diaper (i.e., a Pampers).

      Recently, I have had some issues with the quality of EarthBaby’s diapers. Just last night, my 2-year-old woke up crying (she is resisting potty training, LOL) and it turns out her diaper had “exploded,” sending the pee-soaked gelly beads and bits all over the bed. It was disgusting. This has happened one other time as well. And, I’ve noticed that the left-hand side of the diaper does not “unlatch,” making it difficult to attach the “velcro” piece. I don’t know if I’m explaining myself well, but I’m about to email them about this!! Sorry, just had to see if you were having the same issue as well. If you should learn anything about your original question, please do share with me too!

      Thanks! – Mare

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