Bamboo Diapers: Why So Popular?
Bamboo diapers are one of the most popular natural diapering options available right now. Why are bamboo diapers so popular? Bamboo has a lot going for it. Bamboo is naturally antibacterial, soft, absorbent, easy to care for and better for the environment than synthetics or conventionally grown cotton.
What is so cool about bamboo?
Bamboo grows very, very quickly. Up to one foot a day! It does not require pesticides or chemical fertilizers, making it much more environmentally friendly than conventionally grown crops such as cotton. Because it grows so quickly, bamboo is a sustainable resource. Bamboo also helps prevent soil erosion and can absorb up to 40 percent more carbon dioxide than a similar growth of trees.
Bamboo is naturally antibacterial. Studies in Japan show that even after 50 washes, bamboo fabric retains it's antibacterial properties. When scientists attempted to grow bacteria on bamboo fabric, they found that 70 percent of the bacteria did not grow.
Bamboo is highly absorbent - about 60 percent more than cotton. Bamboo is able to absorb about 3 times it's own weight in water.
Bamboo is very breathable, making it a good choice for use against sensitive skin. Bamboo wipes are so soft you will want to use them for everything!
Does processing bamboo hurt the environment?
All fabrics impact the environment in some way. The only way to completely avoid environmental impact is to go naked. We feel that the impact of bamboo is worth the benefits it provides, although we are supportive of efforts to reduce the impact of all fabrics on the environment.
Because bamboo is grown so sustainably, it starts out as a much "greener" crop than most textiles. Processing the bamboo into fabric does require the use of chemicals. One of these chemicals is sodium hydroxide (lye). Sodium hydroxide is also used in making real soap. It is created naturally when water is run through wood ash, as our great, great grandparents did to create homemade soap. While you don't want sodium hydroxide on your skin in it's pure form, it is less dangerous than many other chemicals used to create textiles. Further, the factory that turns bamboo into usable fiber uses a closed loop system that retains the sodium hydroxide for reuse.
While creating bamboo fabric is not perfectly environmentally friendly, we feel that it is still a sustainable fabric that is better for the environment than synthetics made from petroleum or conventionally grown cotton. Until a perfect textile is found, we are very happy with the benefits and sustainability of bamboo.