Most people know that Ryan and I are planning on using cloth diapers. I try and be careful about what I say I'm going to do or not do because...well, we've never done this whole raising a child thing before. I mean, Chaco, is a bit easy, and I'm not sure that actually counts for child-rearing.
But honestly, I have been a bit shocked by some of the resistance from the mamas using disposables. Why??? I'm not entirely sure, but I have a guess or two. I know I'm entering a new realm of people offering their baby advice and will do my best to embrace the goodness that people offer. And I am fully aware that all of this is something Ryan and I have to feel our way through together. Can't wait for the adventure!
With that being said, I feel like it's time for me to put some information out there that led me to my personal cloth diapering decision. There's plenty of information out there on the internet, and I just pulled some of my info from several websites.
It initially started when I thought about the idea of "restocking" that comes with parenting...The Diaper Genie refills, plastic drop-ins that go into some bottles, wipes, diapers, on and on...It's all a bit overwhelming when you start thinking about it. So, where exactly could we cut out on some of those expenses and waste? I completely understand that just about every product we use or consume plays some toll on our environment, and we have to pick and choose what we're comfortable with. And it would serve us and our world well to choose alternatives when possible.
I have several friends who are using cloth diapers and love it. So, I began asking questions and doing research.
I've seen several different numbers, but on average a babe will use anywhere from 5,000 - 8,000 diapers in their should we say potty career.
There's the Health, Environment, and Costs aspects...
- The chemicals and bleaching agents used to make disposable diapers produce toxic chemicals for our air and soil.
- The chemical used to draw out the urine and turn it into a "gel" is very accurate for absorbing those leaky dipes but has also been associated with severe diaper rash among other health issues.
- It takes about 880 lbs of fluff pulp and 286 lbs of plastic per year to supply a single baby with disposables.
- They are the 3rd largest single product in the waste stream behind newspapers and beverage containers. In areas where paper, glass, and tin cans are collected for recycling, diapers make up an even greater portion of the garbage.
- Landfills do not provide the conditions necessary for disposable diapers to decompose, and it takes roughly 500 years for the poop holder to decompose. That means my poo could still be in a landfill in Georgia if my parents hadn't swaddled my bum with cloth. Thanks, Mom and Dad!!
- Washing cloth diapers at home uses 50 - 70 gallons of water (which is recyclable) every three days. To put that into perspective, a toilet-trained person, flushing the toilet 5 - 6 times a day, uses about 70 gallons of water every three days.
- Wastewater from washing cloth diapers is relatively benign compared to the chemicals in the wastewater from the disposable dipes.
- It roughly costs $3000 - $4000 for the potty career of a disposable baby. I'm not ashamed to share it, but Ryan and I spent about $500 for Baby J's One Size Cloth Diapers that should last his/her diapering career. This includes the cloth wipes, diaper covers, and liners.
- The energy costs for washing a load of diapers is around $1.25 a load.
So, that's where I'm coming from. I'm not saying that a disposable will never touch my babe's bum. We're planning on taking disposables to the birth, and I don't expect our care providers to do that if they're not comfortable with it. But as much as we can, we plan to cover the cute tooshie with cloth.
I do admit it does annoy the hell out of me though...no pun intended...well, kind of...when people totally disregard their personal responsibility to this Earth. Sorry, but I see it a lot in a certain group of people who believe they're going to this magical place in the sky, and we're passing through this planet like little aliens. Well, we can hope that will happen. But to be completely honest, the only thing we know for sure is what we've been given right here and now. And that's Planet Earth. Every little bit can help protect and nurture the only place we know and have been given to enjoy and care for, and every little bit makes this place a little better for our children, grandchildren, their children, and on and on. What a gift to give the future generations?! A cleaner place to live, and well, it doesn't hurt the "pocketbook" too much either.