We have been looking for an alternative to disposable diapers for our trip to Arizona. I do believe that there is a time and a place for everything in this world, including disposable diapers. Vacations that include a plane trip are one of them. Carrying cloth diapers on a plane is not impossible, but it is more of an inconvenience. Not to mention, part of the vacation would be spent doing diaper laundry at some point. We have attempted to travel with our cloth before, and it was just too much of a hassle to worry about.
We started to use Seventh Generation chlorine free diapers for traveling. These are a little better than other disposables, as far as the amounts of chemicals and perfumes. But there is still the guilt of putting them into the landfills. Even though the package says they are biodegradable, I've heard that it can still take 500 years for them to break down.
Elimination communication (EC) is a good alternative to use when we are at home, or visiting family where we have few distractions, and where Jonah is comfortable, but it isn't 100% reliable. Especially when we are out in public, or when we are in an unfamiliar setting.
I finally decided to cave into the trend. We would try G Diapers for this trip. We haven't tried them yet, because my first thoughts about them when they came out were "what's the point?" They are basically a cloth cover, with a disposable inside. It seemed like a more expensive alternative that yielded the same results. As an alternative to cloth, I still feel the same way. I would rather use a cloth insert with a cloth cover. Period.
As an alternative to disposables, there is still little difference. Whether you flush them or toss them, these disposable inserts are still put into our system of waste removal. They are still out there, floating in our sea of trash alongside other disposable diapers. And as a bonus, you still have to do laundry, to wash the covers. One big difference in your options of disposal, however, is that these liners are compostable. You can take the liners (only the wet ones- the poopy ones still need to be flushed or tossed, after you put the poop in the potty of course!) and put them into your compost pile, and they will break back down into the soil. That's a very cool option for us, once we find our own house so that we can have a compost bin.
There's also the thought that they still take energy and cause pollution just from the manufacturing, packaging, and shipping process. With cloth diapers, this effect only happens once with each batch of diapers that parents buy, because it can be used over and over and over again. With any kind of disposable item, the parents are buying the products repeatedly- once or twice a week! That really adds up.
But they are still desirable to us over disposables. First of all, they are the same cost as the brand that we were buying. The covers added a bit more onto the cost, but because we bought the startup kit on clearance, we were able to get four covers along with the liners for just $4 more than the brand of disposables that we would hae bought. That's $1 per cover! And since Jonah is sizing up in his covers anyway, we were ready to buy new covers. These can be used with our cloth as well, so I think the extra cost of the covers is negligable for us at this time.
The covers themselves are a nice feature. The whole cover is a cotton fabric. The PUL liner (which makes it waterproof) snaps in, and kind of acts as a hamock for the disposable liner to sit in. The elastic is also cloth. No where, in this cover design, does the synthetic PUL fabric touch my son's bottom. This is very different from our other cloth covers, and quite frankly I really like it.
Also, the liners don't contain any plastics or perfumes. So we are relatively guilt free of putting these next to our baby's most sensitive parts. If we are in a situation where we would be using disposable diapers anyway, I would much rather use these.
Of course, before I put my faith into these diapers and trust them to keep my son (and my lap) dry during our plane ride to Arizona, we are giving them a test run. We are trying them out as I type, and I will be updating on how well they work for us.