Traveling with little ones means a ton of packing, a ton of planning, a ton of stuff, a ton of snacks, and a ton of diapers (nappies for those of you in AUS).

In our modern world today, I would guess, about 95% of mom’s/mum’s, if not more, use disposable diapers because they are so convenient but they also produce a huge amount of waste.

Every diaper, every single one (even the ones that say they have some compostable materials), sits in landfill for upwards of 500 years.  For all you parents out there, you know how many diapers you go through with these little people – that is a ton of waste and a huge environmental impact.

As mentioned in my Talkin’ Trash A Journey Towards Zero Waste Expeditioning blog, its very easy when you live an modern lifestyle to just throwing things away, and this is the case for diapers as well.  How many of us just wrap them in plastic and throw them in a bin and not think about them again.  But for this expedition, this isn’t an option for us. And considering how we are currently drowning our planet in plastic waste, it would be great to find a better, zero waste, equally convenient solution.

I have been asked many times about what we are doing for Morgan regarding diapers as she isn’t potty trained yet and we are endeavouring to spend three months out in the bush.

Since Morgan has been little, we have used a variety of diapers, and yes even the fully disposable ones, but really liked a product called gDiapers.  Its basically a super cute pant with disposable inserts.  They are great because the inserts are 100% compostable or flushable but the downside is you do have to do a bit more washing as sometimes the pants need a rinse when someones has had a blowout or some little person wiggled at just the wrong time.

For our expedition, we needed three main things in relation to diapers; we needed our diapering solution to be zero waste, not require washing (so really had to be disposable vs cloth or pant etc) and it had to be lightweight meaning packing in and packing out wasn’t wan option due to weight – used diapers are heavy and smelly!

gCycle

On average, Morgan goes through 7 diapers a day.  When she was a newborn, this could be almost double.  So for our expedition, we need 7 diapers a day, for three months, plus a few weeks contingency.  So for our three months in the Outback, we need to take a total of 840 diapers!!

For our expedition, we have partnered with the awesome family who started gDiapers, and we are trailing their next generation of gDiapers, called gCycle.  The gCycle product (the one we are taking) is made up of a commercial compostable body and a reusable wrap.

Compostable Body

Reusable Wrap – Front

Reusable Wrap – Back

 

 GDiapers has recently completed a 5 year pilot of gCycle in Australia with two child care centres. Each week they collect these items and compost it offsite. They then return the compost to the child care to use on their gardens and give to their parents proving you can have disposable nappies in a circular economy – pretty awesome!.  More results / data can be found here.
The main materials in the gCycle are biofilms and non-GMO renewable corn starch PLA.   gCycles are fully compostable but since we won’t be able to home compost out in the outback, based on our research, burning the soiled diapers is a safe and effective disposal method given our expedition, so we will be burning them out in the Outback.
Now this is really important – do not burn any other disposable diaper currently on the market.  They all contain dioxin-emiting polypropylene and this is TOXIC when burned.  gCycle on the other hand is made with materials that will NOT emit such toxins when burned. 

Morgan loving her gCycle’s

 Currently gDiapers is piloting composting but they are testing technologies that take this one step further, taking the waste and generating organic liquid fertiliser, natural gas and even energy which is really exciting. There are no other diaper product or full service offerings like gCycle in the world so we feel pretty lucky to be friends with team the gTeam, be apart of their trialing process and have them on board!
We’ve been testing this product for awhile and we all really love it.  I have to say, the ease and lightweight design of the wrap vs the pant fits our on the go lifestyle much better and we are so happy to have a 100% natural, zero waste option to take on our trip.
In full disclaimer – the nappies did come packaged in a plastic biofilm hybrid material which due to the plastic component, we will have to pack out.