Tuesday, June 30, 2009

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Flush, Compost, or Toss? Experiences with gDiapers.

Ok- I thought you would all get a kick out of this.

On most of my trips-whether business related or personal I try to bring cloth diapers with me for my one year old son, Riley. I even cloth diapered Riley in Vegas last year when we attended a children's show!

On my last business trip however I left on Sunday out west and flew back the next evening on a red-eye flight so unfortunately cloth diapers wasn't an option. The reason why it wasn't an option is because I didn't want to check luggage and only took one small bag for both Riley and myself.

So an overwhelming sense of guilt pours over me. How can I visit a cloth diaper manufacturer with my son in disposables? I just can't. It seemed unethical. Now really- were they going to check to see if he was in disposables? No- but they could ask- and they did!

So I go buy a small package of gDiapers. My thought is I can have Riley wear a pocket diaper (as a cover) and place a gDiaper insert in it. So the Friday before I left I thought I'd do a test day just to make sure my "hybrid" system worked. Before I left for the shop I took the flushable inserts and layed them into 6 diapers (3 Smarti Pants and 3 bumGenius). To my amazement the system worked terrific. Super absorbent and trim.

A couple of hours into the morning I changed him and he had a you know what. Honestly everything was contained and even stayed on the insert. So- I thought I would go ahead and do the inaugural flush. I read the directions- tear down each site of the insert, put in toilet, and swish.

I flushed- uh oh. Clogged- instantly. I swish the "stuff" around with the swivel stick provided. Nothing and the toilet almost over-flowed.

The water was 1/2 inch from the top and I didn't have a plunger here at the new shop.

So, do I endorse the use of gDiapers? I asked myself the question "Flush, Compost, or Toss?" (as written on the home page of gDiapers) I choose composting. When traveling I would toss but I at least know that it will take about 60-90 days to compose vs 500+ years for a disposable. I would hesitate to recommend flushing the insert- especially in the newer-low,flow toilets (like ours at the shop). What is nice about the flushable insert is that it is compost-able in about 60 days. See video of how the insert decomposes vs a typical disposable diaper.

After I got back from my business trip I did learn the gDiapers has now come out with gCloth Inserts. The insert is made of hemp/cotton and is topped with 4 layers of a soft microfleece. I have some on order and will be testing them out as soon as they arrive and will let you all know what I think.

I would love to hear any feedback you have about this "hybrid" system.

By Kelly

72 comments:

Instant Family of 4 said...

I didn't realize they were coming out with a cloth option. I have yet to try the G diapers because I didn't want to have to purchase the liners but if there was a reusable option I might be persuaded to rethink.

Thanks for the information!

Tina said...

FYI....most toilets have a shut-off valve under/behind it. just turn it quickly to the right to avoid the over-flowing toilet while looking for a plunger....

Julie said...

oooh I didnt even know they had a cloth insert made! I will have to check that out. I flush our ginserts, with no problems, but I think we have a sewer system of gold because i flush EVERYTHING. lol

greenkiddo said...

I have always wanted to try gdiapers so I just ordered some for our new baby coming this fall. My plan is to use the cloth inserts at home and keep the disposable ones for when we might be out and about for the day or for traveling.... I do like the idea that even if you have to toss one it will break down faster than a disposable diaper and I love the idea of not having to caring around a wetbag of yucky diapers if you are gone for a long period of time!

Angelique said...

we used the g-system at home, along with BumGenius pockets at night and BG organic AIO's. I also have a Blueberry or two. gDiapers are one of our main diapers for daytime at home. I have been using prefolds folded into thirds and stuffed into the gPants. This has worked great with only maybe 3 blowouts in as many months. I just got my cloth inserts from gDiapers and am excited to try them..they are currently running through the wash!
When travelling, we used the flushable inserts from gDiapers, even overnight! It was awesome! Not a single leak. There is definitely an extra step when using the gPants because you have to stuff and make sure they fit well but for a less guilty option, i love the "flushies" as I call it. I hadn't thought to lay them in a different diaper. I'm going to try that next time!!

Amanda said...

I'm looking forward to hear your opinion on "gCloth." The flushable inserts of gDiapers always kinda freaked me out a bit, with the tearing and swirling and flushing. ;)

Carisa said...

Thank you for this post- I have been wondering if these would work on our upcoming vacation, and my exact questions was addressed...will the liners work in my BumGenius diapers? I was wondering if I could get away with just buying a box of liners, or if I needed the little g pants?
Thanks...
Carisa

Kelly said...

where can i buy gdiapers in a store? i like to touch and feel what i buy and HATE to pay shipping!!

Cari C said...

Did you happen to watch the video about letting the outer material go at the last second? Our house is less than 5 years old and so has the low water toilets. I do have to say that there is a huge difference between the small flushies and the larges. The small ones I never had to 'swish'. The large ones I have to be very careful to swish just the inner fluff, flush, then let the water take the outer liner down at the end. No clogs for us that way!

However, like you I only use them on vacations and most often dispose of them in my little green baggies. I do use my Thirsties covers so that I can just wipe out the inside of the cover or wash it out in the sink and they dry within an hour. I also like the flap in the front so that I can fold down the top of the large insert for extra coverage in my son's heavy wetting zone and it stays in place beautifully.

Sugar & Spice said...

I discovered gdiapers almost 2 years ago. We had already been using cloth diapers. So I was thrilled at this concept for when we traveled. However, I have discovered that I just don't like them. Even with a cloth insert in them. If baby has a messy poop it is far more messier than with a CD. Getting the liner clean is a pain. I have tried using the flushable in the Bummi's cover but I still prefer my Cloth Diapers.

Carrie said...

We started with gDiapers because it was the most affordable option, and readily available. We purchased them at the supermarket. While we've begun adding other diapers into our stash so to speak, she wears the gDiapers the most. At home I have been using a prefold as an insert. I save the flushasbles mostly for outings, and am free of carrying around a 'yuck' in my diaper bag. The colors are prints they offer are really cute too. We're only about a month in, but so far two thumbs up for me. We love gDiapers!

MomOfKayAndKel said...

I use these diapers on my daughter and son when we travel for more than a couple of days. I personally love these diapers I have never had a problem with clogs. I recommend letting the insert sit for a minute or two before you flush. I also can use the covers with prefolda and this system works great as well. I recommend these to anyone who uses cloth and needs something for when they travel for long periods of time, you do not have to worry about waste sitting in a landfill for hundreds of years and you can use them for composting.

Lauren said...

I'm glad the toilet didn't overflow on you!

MaryAnne said...

I've never tired gDiapers, mainly because I've mainly heard negative feedback about them (that they clog toilets and that their covers leak). I would definitely like to hear how the version with gCloth inserts works, though.

Did you try the gDiaper brand covers? from your review it sounded like you just used the inserts in cloth diapers you already had, and I'm wondering if it's the covers that cause the leaking problems I read about...

TheClothDiaperWhisperer said...

If you already have bumGenius os then you don't have to purchase the G-pants if you don't want too. I personally found I had less leaks when using the "flushies" inside a Smarti Pants or bumGenius.

Ammie said...

We tried gDiapers, too, for traveling, and were disappointed. After pulping the diaper, we still had to flush the toilet six times to get all that pulp down. I decided gDiapers weren't "green" at all with our toilet. Flushing isn't an option at our house, and we won't inflict clogged toilets on any of our friends and family members, either. We hope one day to have a composting toilet, for which gDiapers would be wonderful! Like you, we only purchased the insert to use in our other covers. We'll use what we have up while we travel, but probably not buy any more. I think disposables are better.

Melissa said...

This definitely sounds interesting. I have a question about how often you have to wash or switch out the gDiaper covers? Do you use one all day or do you have to switch often like with a regular cloth diaper cover & prefolds/fitteds??

mjones_82 @yahoo.com

NatCarm said...

Oh, this is great! Didn't even think to use the g-diaper insert in a CD! We only bring CD with us when we know we won't be on the road too long. We are going to family's house this weekend and were just going to bring disposables so we don't get the comments about laundering our CD in their machines. Thanks for the tips! Never realized that CD would be so much fun before we had our daughter! Can't wait to add more to our collection of Bum Genius! Thanks!

Valerie aka Mamalovelock said...

I hadn't heard of the hybrid system, but that's why I read your blog, so I can be informed. Thanks!

And I am glad you didn't have an overflow!!

Anna said...

Ooo...I like the idea of just using the ginserts with a BumGenius cover. I'll have to try that when we're out and about.

Yara said...

I was so excited when I saw they FINALLY came out with a cloth insert. I've been telling them for 3 yrs they need to : )
I haven't ordered mine yet, but I will later this week.

Collins family said...

I love the g inserts, but I am not a fan their reusable pants. My son is a heavy wetter. After the first time he would go to the bathroom, the liner would shrink up and then would leak. To make it more frustrating, the back of the insert was always dry!
We also had an issue with flushing. We had a newborn and the bathroom torn apart trying to unclog the pipes. But now, I use them in my bumGenius and in the Smartipants. This system works MUCH better! The inserts compost really well too.

hammergirl5 said...

thanks for the info kelly ... looking forward to hearing how the gcloth works!

hammergirl5@aol.com

Beth E. said...

The option of putting a "flushy" in our cloth diapers would totally be an option for us on the road. Thanks for the review!

Kelley said...

Do you have a review on the Smartipants that you mentioned? I have been reading up on them and they sound great for someone who doesn't like pulling out the soiled insert in pocket diapers (someone like me!). I would love to hear your opinion on them before I order some. Thanks!

Tiffany said...

I got the gDiaper system as a gift at my baby shower. They work ok, no major complaints here, but I'm happier cloth diapering. I might try the new inserts though since I do have the gPants.

Brena said...

Wow! That's awesome. We just went on vacation and are getting ready to go away again. I used disposables and really hated it. I'll try the gdiaper hybrids this time!

Michelle said...

My experience with g diapes has been that they didn't leak at all or have any problems except the "flushable" insert clogged my tiolet too.

Vicki said...

Did you lay the liner ON the BG OR in the pocket? That has been my question. I have a few gpants but I really dont like them and the velcro is aweful. But I think a gliner on a pocket would be awesome for traveling.

Anonymous said...

We are getting ready to travel so this may be an option. I just want to clarify...you used a pocket diaper as a cover and placed the insert on top instead of inside? Could I use a bummis whisper wrap too as a cover? Thanks

Serena said...

LOVE the story! I can truly attest to how Kelly was torn over having to use disposable materials - but her system ended up working out great!

I'm delighted to see gDiapers carrying a cloth alternative because it just makes more sense... however, I can see how the disposables might come in handy for certain occassions/situations.

I've also always thought the gDiapers covers are really cute and since they fasten towards the back - this is also a great alternative for those with children who like to get naked! =)

Serena said...

MaryAnne: I've tried the gDiapers covers with cloth several months ago when my little man was a newborn and I found they did wick (not leak), especially if they diaper wasn't changed right away - but I had a feeling that may have been as result of me trying to force fit cloth inside the cover...

Amanda said...

I have always wondered about the GDiapers. It just seems like it would cost SO much money & part of why we CD is to save money. But the cloth option sounds promising....can't wait to hear about it.

Amanda G.

Just Another Wondering Wandering Mama said...

The main reason I have never tried GDiapers id because I'm scared to clogging the toilet with them or messing up our septic system (we rent from my dad and he would FREAK if that happened!).
I have to admit that the covers are SUPER cute and look like they fit real nice!

Upstatemomof3 said...

That is one of the things I am considering for our trip to Ethiopia but I have not made a final decision yet.

Ashley said...

Those gDiapers are so cute, and were featured in July's Parenting Magazine! I know some people think they're an easier alternative to cloth, but I've heard from most ladies that you have to end up washing the shell a ton anyway, so you might as well just go with cloth. Good post!

Coupon Mama said...

I have been wanting to try Smarti-pants since hearing about them. Maybe you could do a review of them. I was also wondering what materials are in the Smarti-pants inserts? Can they be used against the skin like a AI2?

TheClothDiaperWhisperer said...

Melissa- If you use the Gpants I would recommend at least 2 per day.

Anonymous and Vicki- I just put the gDiaper "Flushie" right on top of the suedecloth on the bumGenius. You wouldn't want to put it inside the pocket part of the diaper.

TheClothDiaperWhisperer said...

We are planning on doing a review and giveaway of Smarti Pants One Size in the near future. It is truly an amazing diaper. I absolutely love their "Smart Sleeve". You can leave the insert right in the diaper (yeah! no more pulling out wet inserts that might have bm near them)and it truly agitates out in the wash.
They are extremely economical and to boot they are Made in the USA in great working conditions! (I personally have visited the facility.)

The insert is a micro terry insert and should only be used inside a pocket diaper or Smarti Pants diaper.

hosiewosie said...

What happened with the toilet? Glad to hear about gdiapers, lately when I tell people I use cloth they say, "oh the gdiaper?" I had to google it b/c I didn't even know what that was. I think I'm sticking to regular ol' cloth.

Slee said...

i've not tried these as of yet, they seem rather cost inefficient, although if it's about space and not doing laundry... i suppose i can see the draw.

EFalls said...

My neighbor just gave me some g diapers that her son had outgrown. I haven't tried them yet, and was very skeptical at first but I'm glad to hear that they work so well. I also heard about using the g covers as cloth diaper covers and plan on doing that (but my baby doesn't fit in the Medium size yet). Thank you for your insight because I'm going out of town next week and will definitely give these a try (sans flushing

EFalls said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Slee said...

http://www.cityofvancouver.us/upload/images/PublicWorks/Official_City%20of%20Vancouver%20gDiaper%20Study%20_FinalReport_20071109.pdf
is an interesting article/report from the city of vancouver regarding the flushing of gDiapers, and they'd suggest anything other than flushing.

Thrifty Mama B said...

We have not tried any gDiapers so I am of no help there. Its good to know they have a different insert out. I would be more opt to buy that than the other one.

Kristin said...

I have not heard good things about the gDiapers. The gCloth just seems like an expensive alternative to a trifolded prefold in a PUL cover to me. But to each their own! I prefer regular cloth :)

Christina C. said...

I think gDiapers are a good option for some people but I figure since you are going to be washing the covers anyway why not cloth diaper?
From what I have heard they would not save us much money anyway which is the biggest reason I cloth diaper.

Fertilized said...

Our first experience with Clothe was Gdiaper ... But didn;t feel like I was really saving money/time. I know that if you are handy with a sewing machine you can make your own liners. But I am not crafty in that manner

MeghanT said...

These sound like a great option for traveling if you don't want to do laundry. Just tos in the trash like a disposable instead of flushing.

creativoice said...

I haven't tried G diapers yet, however, I have been searching for a cloth alternative for flight travel.

creativoice said...

I haven't tried G diapers yet, however, I have been searching for a cloth alternative for flight travel.

ONCE upon a time.... said...

I'm curious to see how the cloth inserts work with the gDiapers. We had a terrible experience with ours, unfortunately. Every single gDiaper leaked with my son, no matter how many times i called customer support (who were very nice, by the way). The most embarassing leak was a runny breastmilk poop all down my good friend's arm! That was the point where I decided we needed something else. I discovered bumGenius and never looked back. Perhaps it was my son's size and build, but I just couldn't handle a diaper leaking each and every time it was used. I hope others have better experiences than i did!!

Anne said...

I can't wait to hear the review of G-cloth!

I'm thinking I will go with G-dipes when we travel. But if i EVER had to use them here, I definitely won't flush- we've got septic! Eep!

Mrs. Melissa C said...

I haven't tried Gdiapers but have heard they are wonderful. I think I'd freak out if I plugged my toilet with it though... especially in public without a plunger! Yikes! I would definitely be interested in hearing what other cloth diaper mamas do when traveling though. I'm afraid I've given in and used disposables on trips, especially when we're not at the in-laws who let me use their washer. :)

Kelly said...

I love the striped G diaper cover! and great to know that they are now making cloth inserts. Would love to hear more about them.

We do a lot of 2-3 day road & camping trips and I think the G Diaper might be what I need to try, especially with 2 in dipes now.

Shelly said...

I am a Gmum! Ask me anyquestions you like about gdiapers- I am here to help :) I bought my first gdiaper starter kit at a local Greenlife grocer. After I used up the disposable inserts, I use my prefolds folded long ways and placed just as the disposable insert in the little g pants. I really like mine now that I am getting the hang of it. I recommend watching ALL of the online tutorials before using and especially flushing. And never flush in a septic tank, please.

Keeping up with the Connors' said...

We have used gdiapers on our little one from the start. BUT we use cloth in the gpants and the flushies when on the go. I am so glad they are coming out with a cloth insert... can't wait to try them! Prefolds work great in the gpants though. and they come in such cute colors and styles! ps- we also love fuzzi bunz!

Jessie said...

I use cloth inserts (bought from etsy) with my gDiapers and they work great!! I plan on purchasing some of their cloth inserts to see if they are a bit more trim.

Andrea said...

I loved my G diapers and only switched to cloth because they cost more than I was willing to spend. In a year of using them I only had them clog my toilet a handful of times-mostly when I didn't swish enough. I am sad they didn't come up with the cloth inserts a year ago.

debbiekl said...

The gDiapers were a compromise for us because we weren't comfortable with straight up cloth, and didn't want to use disposables. We never flushed the inserts, but our toilet clogs with a piece of toilet paper, so I knew it wouldn't work out for us. We did compost them though. Eventually I tried cloth pocket diapers and have been using them since. I may try the new gCloth though, since I still have my gs.

angelina said...

i considered gdiapers , until i read a mother post "why go in between, that isnt doing any better than disposables". i agreed,and am happily 100 percent cd'ing successfully on my second child. i am so happy i read this strangers comment, it was what i needed.

Mrs. Howard said...

I had never even heard of the gDiapers. I love how much I learn from this blog!

Rachael said...

in NS Canada the government states things like wipes and these insert should not be flushed

Sarah said...

We have been using gDiapers and like the option of flushing or tossing when we are out traveling. I'm just now getting into cloth diapers, so I've been experimenting with cloth inserts for the gpants.

What do you think of the gcloths?

Melissa said...

I use my homemade cloth inserts with bamboo in the gdiapers and they work great! I have never had a problem with flushing my gdiapers but only flush when we have poop on them when we are out and about!

kristen said...

I would have never thought to use my gdiaper disposables with my pocket diapers as a cover! I have a pack of gdiapers covers and all that I only use when we go on trips. Any other time I would just use my pocket diapers or covers and prefolds. I was just looking at them in my diaper closet trying to figure out what to do with them, no kidding, LOL! Thanks for the tip; I can’t wait to try it tomorrow!

Melody said...

Kelly-- You mentioned that you used the gDiaper insert inside a BumGenius 3.0. Did the disposable insert contain the pee enough that you could re-use the 3.0 cover more than once?

Cloth Diaperer Extraordinaire said...

Melody: I believe Kelly didn't reuse the diaper cover - however, if your little one didn't soak through the disposable insert then you may be able to reuse the cover (so long as it doesn't smell or get soiled - you'll want to air the cover out between changes though).

I hope this helps! I'll double check with Kelly to be sure though!

CLF said...

I love the biodegradable option because I compost. The result is nitrogen heavy, great for growing. We just throw out the #2 ones, feeling good about it knowing that they degrade in 60 days. No landfill issues! Even if you don't compost, these don't take up landfill space because they breakdown so quickly.

Cloth diapering is so fashionable right now; but clean water is a real issue in the world at the moment, as well--for both ecological and economical reasons. Our city systems spend billions on cleaning our water. I'd rather they have less water to clean and more teachers in our schools! I just don't have it in my conscience to use the amount of water needed for full-time cloth diapering--even though it would be economical for me personally. People in desert areas (Southern Cal, Arizona, NM, etc.) should really think twice if they use cloth for environmental reasons.

The gRefills are the perfect solution to this frustrating dilemma. And I love growing with self-made compost. It feels so good to see this circle of life in your own garden.

I would recommend this TRULY earth-friendly solution to anyone. Thank you for this post.

Julie said...

Is the poster above a gdiaper employee? Because this truly sounds like a biased comment.

So, let's talk about water... What is more damaging to a water system? Using a high-efficiency washing machine, environmentally friendly detergent, cold water and minimal rinsing, or flushing a non-biodegradable combination of petrochemical waste and cellulose, which has been found to block water treatment filtration? Because that's what we're talking about when you flush a gdiaper insert.

Compostable? Again, the super absorbent polymer gel inside the gdiaper insert does NOT biodegrade, contrary to their cradle-to-cradle claims. Therefore, you are putting a petroleum-based chemical into your soil system to grow your grass, garden, etc. This is known as greenwashing - making you think you're performing an environmentally sound practice.

The best solution is to either use a reusable insert - reusable trumps single use in any scenario - or put the insert into the landfill where every other disposable resides. Truth out.

smallhouseblogger said...

I agree with Julie above. Also, I have been trying to figure out the whole composting thing with diapers and am finding the information on several of the compostable diaper websites to be somewhat misleading. Compostable or not, things don't compost in a landfill (with all that trash compacted together things don't get enough heat, air, etc. to break down)! The knitty gritty on the g-diaper site says that their biodegradable diapers meet all biodegradable standards etc., etc., "under normal composting conditions" (ie NOT the landfill). With further digging on their site, you'll find that you can compost wet diapers at your home with the proper composting set up, but not the ones with poop (and even if you were going to compost the wet diapers at home, you'd have to carry them with you if your out and about, rather than throw them away). Many city run compost programs don't allow diapers. In the end, I think it's great that companies are making a compostable option for things like night use, when a cloth diaper may just be too soggy and wet, but I think it can be very misleading for people who don't realize that these diapers don't compost/biodegrade any better than regular disposables when thrown in the trash and that there are rules about how and where you can compost the dirty diapers and you may need a special service to do so.

Sara Ellen said...

Can we get some more feedback on composting the gdiaper inserts?

I am 5 months preg and that's what I plan on doing- using the gdiaper system and using cloth inserts and the compostable/flushable ones....

Im truly trying to be as environmentally sound as possible- but cloth diapers really seem to be water/detergent intense... so many options!