Here is a story that I think explains why we can't just rely on people's good nature to save us from climate change and other environmental problems:
As you might have guessed from the post about our car buying dilemma, Hubby and I are fairly concerned about the environment. We try to consider the environmental impacts of all of our decisions. So, when I was pregnant with Pumpkin, I did some research about diapers. We knew that we'd have to us disposable diapers at day care, but we could use something else at home if that made the most sense. I found an analysis from some academics in Ohio (which of course I cannot find now) that convinced me that in my drought-plagued location, cloth diapers aren't necessarily the best choice. As any new parent can tell you, babies go through a lot of diapers, and that's a lot of laundry, which translates to a lot of water- especially when Pumpkin was little and we lived in an apartment with an old, inefficient shared washer.
My research led me to gDiapers, which I still think are ingenious. They consist of cute cloth "little g" pants, a plastic liner that snaps into the pants, and an insert that you press into the plastic liner. The system works great. They seem to be comfortable for the baby. Pumpkin refuses to wear them anymore- she says they are "too tight"- but I think that is due to her aversion to change more than any actual problem with the diapers. They contain the "poop-splosions" of babyhood far better than disposables. I almost always have to wash the plastic liner after a big poop (but this rinses out easily, and can be washed in with the rest of our laundry), but only rarely have to wash the little g pants. And I can't remember a single time with either Pumpkin or Petunia when the outfit over the diapers got dirty. With disposables, I have to change Petunia out of a poopy outfit several times a week. My only functional quibble is that the baby fusses when wet earlier than with disposables. However, since the wet diapers can be composted (really!) that isn't necessarily a deal-breaker. The poopy diapers are meant to be flushed: you tear open the insert, dump it into the toilet, and swoosh it around with a long plastic stick they give you with your starter kit. This is far easier and less messy than it sounds, and I've never had a problem with the diaper flushing, either here at the house or in our old apartment.
So... why am I struggling to get through the one pack of 40 small size inserts that I bought before Petunia was born? She is about to outgrow the small size, and I still have about 5 inserts left to use. Given the fact that Petunia easily goes through 7-8 diapers in a day, that pack should have lasted about a week. Petunia is 11 weeks old. So one time out of 11, I do the "right" thing. The rest of the time, I put her in a disposable diaper. I do this because I am lazy. The extra work required to use the gDiapers is minimal- I have to "load" the insert into the lined little g pant. When the diaper is used, I have to either flush it or compost it. But that extra little bit of effort over wrapping the diaper around itself and dumping it in the diaper pail is apparently too much for me. Hubby, who is arguably more environmentally conscious than I am, will almost never reach for a gDiaper. Two environmentally sensitive adults who know full well that our actions are suboptimal in terms of the environment can't be bothered to add a a few extra (easy) steps to the diapering routine.
And that is why our planet is doomed.
I will, however, dig the medium size little g pants out of storage and order some appropriately sized inserts. If we get moving and buy the low water use, dual flush toilets we've picked out, I should be able to report back on whether we have any difficulty flushing the inserts with a 1.6 gallon toilet.