Mothering Magazine had an issue out last year with several great articles in it about cloth diapering, including the politics behind why sposies are in such wide use today. You can order back issues on their website.
Two of my favorite quotes from that issue:
Throwaway diapers, compared with reusables (cloth), produce seven times more solid waste when discarded and three times more waste in the manufacturing process._ In addition, effluents from the plastic, pulp, and paper industries are far more hazardous than those from the cotton growing and manufacturing processes._ According to industry data from Franklin Associates and the American Petroleum Institute, 3.5 billion gallons of oil are used to produce the 18 million throwaway diapers that end up in landfills each year._
Washing cloth diapers at home uses 50-70 gallons of water every three days-- about the same as flushing a toilet five times a day.
--Carl Lehrburger, Jocelyn Mullen, and C.V. Jones, "Diapers: Environmental Impacts and Lifecycle Analysis," January 1991.*
Each family that chooses cloth diapers for their child prevents one ton of waste from entering the solid waste stream each year.
Diapers in the Waste Stream, 1989*
I will send these links to the organic community sites in Scandinavia which,despite of of their wonderful efforts to promote organic food, recycling and all, claim that CD are as harmful for the environment as DD!!!!
I don't get it!!! How can they honestly believe that doing 2 extra laundry loads a week is as harmful for the enronment than throwing 40 DD per week in ladfilds????!!!!