Cloth diapers are by no means a new thing, but they have evolved fantastically over just the past decade. I remember watching my mom swish dirty diapers in the toilet and thinking, “Yuck. I never want to do that!” Now, I am a cloth diaper veteran, having used cloth on my 4 babies over the past 10 years. You might remember the big diaper pins, bulky pre-folds and plastic pants and want to run the other way. But wait! Before you default to disposable diapers, take a look at the new and improved world of cloth diapers. They are modern, simplified and drastically lighten your carbon footprint on the planet!
Disposables are so convenient. …Are they really? There’s much more to disposable diapers than buying a package at the store, using once, and tossing. What goes on behind the scenes? To start with, an astounding 300+ pounds of wood, 55 pounds of plastic, 50 pounds of petroleum feed stock, and 20 pounds of chlorine is consumed on one year’s supply of disposables for one baby. Talk about depleting our natural resources! Most disposables also contain dioxin and other chemicals that are considered carcinogenic and are actually banned in some countries outside America. Additionally, there are studies linking the increased scrotal temperature caused by disposables to a higher risk of adult infertility and testicular cancer.
What happens after the disposable is thrown away? A staggering 27.4 billion diapers are casually dumped into our US landfills every year. Consider the fact that they will still be there 500 years later. An even more sobering reality is the immediate health hazard created by the solid human waste slowly leaching into the Earth. Disposable packaging recommends dumping feces in the toilet prior to tossing the diaper, but honestly, who does that? As a result, underground water supplies and groundwater are at real risk of contamination, and airborne viruses (including live vaccines from routine childhood immunizations) can be carried by flies and other insects.
Cloth diapering is a better choice for baby and Earth. Each cloth diaper can be used 250 times or more compared to a single use disposable. Over the average 2.5 years a baby is in diapers, up to 6,000 diapers will be consumed. That’s a total cost of $1750 or more! Cloth diapering is notably less expensive. With the use of One Size cloth diapers, the cost drops down to as little as $393 (the current Maui Diaper One Fit pricing). By purchasing non-toxic diapers made from organic cotton, hemp and wool, and eco-consciously made fabrics like bamboo and some PUL, even less of a mark is left on Earth. (to be continued next issue)
Image Credit: Cadencia Photography