Changing Diapers to Change Minds About the Environmentcarolyncastiglia
It sounds like something the URDB World Records people should have been involved in. This weekend, “Moms and a few dads loaded down with diaper bags and baby gear simultaneously changed infants and toddlers during The Great Cloth Diaper Change 2011, an environmental event designed to set a world cloth-diapering record,” the Edmonton Journal reports. Parents participated in 400 locations worldwide to raise awareness about the negative impact disposable diapers have on the environment.
In Canada, 1.7 billion disposable diapers are used each year, resulting in approximately 250,000 tons of garbage. “There’s no clear-cut winner when it comes to whether cloth or disposable diapers are the more responsible environmental choice,” according to information on the Environment Canada site. “Disposable diapers are a burden to municipal landfills and deplete the natural resources that are needed to make them,” but “reusable cloth diapers create air and water pollution as a result of the energy and water resources that are used to wash and dry diapers.”
But moms in San Antonio, TX who participated in the event believe that the choice is clear. Melissa Blythe says she uses cloth diapers because of the “natural fibres against baby’s skin.” She adds, “There are a lot of chemicals in disposable diapers to make them do what they need to do.” Iris Upchurch told reporters her daughter Kira used to get yeast rashes all the time, “but once we switched to cloth diapers she stopped.”
Cloth diapers aren’t just greener than disposable diapers, they can save you green, too. Blythe believes diapering one baby in cloth can save a family more than $2,000. And Kim Webb, who organized the San Antonio event, says, “It can take hundreds of years for diapers to decompose in a landfill.” Elizabeth Spillman, owner of Go, Baby, Go, notes that though the average parent will spend $400 on cloth diapers and related products, most diapers are adjustable and can be reused for each subsequent child.
I have to say, now that I’ve spent the last year-and-a-half cleaning up accidents my daughter has had in cotton undies, the idea of cloth diapers seems totally palatable. After all, baby poop doesn’t stink – at least not to a mother. Did you use or are you using cloth diapers? If not, would you consider it?
Photo: Great Cloth Diaper Change