Canberra students make and donate MCN to mothers in crisis

Students in the ACT have been bringing cloth nappies and community outreach together.

The Canberra Times reports:

“Nappies that keep saving the planet


“Melba Copland Secondary School students were selling the benefits of their prize-winning reusable nappies when they visited a group of expectant and new mothers this week.

Four members of a textiles class presented 40 hand-made reusable nappies to the residents of Karinya House, a service for mothers in crisis.[…]

Ms Gallagher estimates that eight to 10 disposable nappies are used at the service per baby, a day, at a cost to mothers of about $55 a week.

Reuseable nappies cost as little as $5 to $10 to make at home and about $25 pre-made, which could relieve financial pressure for mothers in all situations.

The school was named a ”Sustainable Living Champion” by a University of NSW competition for making the reusable, adjustable nappies with polar fleece, nylon and bamboo-based fabric as the absorbent material. The teacher responsible for the nappy program, Ketley Merle, said that the products also had environmental benefits, especially when washed with environmentally sound techniques.”


Cloth nappies cut carbon emissions by around half: Environment Agency

An updated Environment Agency report concludes that reusable nappies, used sensibly, reduce carbon emissions dramatically. The myth of “disposable and cloth nappies having the same environmental impact” has been well and truly busted.

Recycling & Waste Management News & Information reports:

An updated lifecycle assessment study for disposable and reusable nappies examines the environmental impacts of two systems. The report analyses the environmental impacts of a child using disposable nappies for the first two and half years of its life versus cloth nappies for the same period.

The aim of the study was to update a previous report on the environmental impacts of reusable nappy types compared with disposable nappies, using a 2006 data reference point.

It says that the average disposable nappy would result in “a global warming impact of approximately 550 kg of carbon dioxide equivalents used over the two and half years a child is typically in nappies”. In comparison, using re-useable nappies that had been eco-washed would result in a global warming impact of “some 200 kg of carbon dioxide equivalents over two and a half years”.

The amount of carbon emissions saved is around the same as the difference you could make by switching 140 reams of paper from new to recycled, or by switching your machine machine over to cold water for a year and a half. (sources:, livclean)

Just one more small way we can all reduce our contributions to human-made climate change. Spread the word.