Monday, September 17, 2012


IT'S well known that babies have a massive impact on the environment. 

I dread to think where all those nappies our babies have soiled are now. 

But it's unavoidable - even washing nappies has a detrimental environmental impact.

I find I deal with my Nappy Mountain guilt by offsetting: by being a fabulous recycler, rarely throwing away food and minimising what I use. For instance, on a good day, my baby will use 2 nappies. One overnight but I don't change until he's done a poo, then one for the day - generally the next poo is around 7, so then he goes into his nighttime nappy. 

This works for us - and means there's a lot less to throw away.

But there's one product I've always been uneasy about, especially when I see mums using them more liberally than water. 


Nowadays it's wipes for everything. Spills, stains, bums, faces, hands, noses, floors and cars. 

There's must be so many wipes used unnecessarily when a flannel and soap could have worked, or just a tissue because they dissolve and biodegrade. 

Most wipes are made of plastics like polyester, polyethylene, and polypropylene, with some cotton and rayon.

They take years to break down.

By using wipes we're contributing towards a bigger mountain of baby waste than was ever thought possible. Heck, most people now use disposable wipes for cleaning their faces at night and wiping stains off everything.  

I see mums manically pulling five wipes at a time out of a packet just for a snotty nose or a dirty face. Five wipes for a nappy change as well!

It's five and a half years since I started buying wipes with my first baby - and I'm starting to think that I should be stopping using them soon - because I feel I've just used too many and they're probably all still in a stinky moulding corpse of a "wipe mountain" somewhere in the world.

My toddler is 16 months now and I'm trying not to use them as much. I no longer use a wipe for a wet nappy, I just massage in some sweet smelling grapeseed oil to take away the smell of wee. And I try to use only one wipe for a poo. If possible, I'll use just toilet tissue, wetting it if I have to.
Ask anyone if they'll give up wipes and you'll hear: "But we love wipes"... "I couldn't live without them"... "They're so convenient".

But isn't it time we started to use them less, rather than more? They don't biodegrade at all. They sit in our landfills forever. I can't believe manufacturers are trying to find more ways of getting us to use more wipes, without any concern for the environment or where they end up, rotting for years.


Anonymous said...

Hi Amy

Thanks so much for this post! I had no idea that wipes weren't biodegradable. In fact I used them with abandon because I thought they were! I will definitely be cutting down on my usage from now on.

Unknown said...

I am absolutely and your blog has made me think - I do need to cut down, only use baby wipes but yes for everything!! I'm joining up for wipes addicts annon - wish me luck! x