Why I Don't Feel Guilty Using Disposable Diapers

using disposable diapersAs an eco-conscious mom, I've had to make some environmentally unfriendly decisions at times. I look at it as a compromise. If I walk more and drive less, I can buy the occasional bottle of water in a pinch. However, I never seriously considered using cloth diapers (although I was almost swayed by the gDiaper), simply because of the ick factor. Pee-soaked cloth with poop smears is something I would throw in the trash, not in a bin that stays in my house until the diaper service picks it up.

Luckily, the argument was made that all of that laundry and manufacturing made cloth diapers and disposables almost a toss-up in the eco-friendly world. And now, there's an even better reason to not feel guilty about using disposables.



No, not the magic kind that make me feel groovy no matter what kind of damage I'm doing to the earth, the kind that have been shown to break down a dirty disposable diaper in as little as two months.

Researchers at Metropolitan University in Mexico City set out to find a mushroom that would feast on dirty diapers, and it turns out it's also a mushroom you've probably eaten for dinner. The magical oyster mushroom can break down 90% of a disposable diaper in only two months! Within four months, that diaper is completely decomposed. This type of mushroom feeds on cellulose, which is the main material in disposables. Who knew?

Now, we've just got to start a letter-writing campaign to our local dump to start tossing mushrooms into the landfills. Or start your own diaper compost in your backyard. I think I'm going with the first option.

Does this new study make you feel better about using disposables?


Image via ceejayoz/Flickr

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