Sometimes, it's obvious being green. Maybe more so for me, given that I'm writing this monthly feature about my pledge to buy nothing new, reduce my consumption, and save money over the next year. But what happens when going green is not what it seems?This month, my writing class at Duke is evaluating green choices in terms of environmental impacts, convenience and feasibility. Surprisingly, some environmentally-friendly options turn out not to be that green after all. For example, we've discussed whether individuals should eat locally even though it might actually cost more in food miles to do so. We've questioned whether everyone should switch to hybrid cars given the tremendous production costs and ultimate battery waste that would result. And I've forced this group of 18-year-olds to ponder diapers.While they've been writing argumentative essays, I've been trying to figure out how to write a column admitting that I'm sticking with disposable diapers.The bottom line, environmentally, is that there is no significant difference between cloth and disposable diapers. When you consider the materials, water, energy, and transportation costs to produce and maintain the diapers, it's a wash. Finding this out made me slightly less embarrassed about going with disposable diapers, but I still felt compelled to look into cloth diapers for my 16-month-old, who will need diapers for approximately 12 more months. I polled three of my hip cloth-diapering momma friends to get the scoop on the number of diapers I'd need and the amount of laundry they would produce. I then visited the Red Hen in Carrboro to get a tutorial in cloth diapering and to check out the most stylish cloth diaper products. Given my buy nothing new pledge, I bought the one used diaper that fit Chloe and tried it out. It was bulky but efficient; stinky but washable. I could definitely make the switch if I really wanted to.Yet, for me, making that switch just doesn't make sense. Sure, I could buy a bunch of used cloth diapers on eBay and resell them once Chloe's potty trained. I could make use of the clothesline to save on laundry costs. Or I could use a hybrid diaper, although I would still have to throw away the flushable insert since my house relies on a septic system. Maybe I could even go diaper-free, watching Chloe carefully and rushing her to the bathroom at the first sign that she has to go.Yeah, right.The disposable diapers that I use are greener than most they use no chlorine bleach and are made from pulp from sustainably harvested forests. They cost more than the regular brands, but I'm willing to pay it to support a move towards more environmentally friendly diapers. And I've used them for so long that a switch for the remaining 12 months wouldn't have a significantly smaller environmental impact. Ultimately, though, if I did start using cloth diapers, I'd be making the switch to look more green. So that the next time someone stops me to say, Hey, I've read your column, I could proudly wax on about my successful switch to cloth diapers. Let's face it -- there's nothing that says I'm a natural momma louder than cloth diapers.Instead, if you ask, I'll tell you all about life-cycle analysis of diapers done by independent parties. I can explain the arguments my students helped me develop as they pondered diapers, poop, and my life as a mother. I'll suggest that sometimes being green isn't so obvious even when publicly leading a green lifestyle.