I don't know what the deal is. Perhaps it's something in the water. That's an argument for another day though. Maybe it's only like this in my life, but it seems like pregnancy is a new epidemic. I have four people in my life who are all expecting. Most people react with something like, "Yay! Babies!" However, I can imagine that Mother Nature feels like the middle child every time a new baby is born. Rejected, ignored, unimportant, and unnecessary. With roughly 255 babies being born every minute around the world, you can imagine how depressed Mother Nature must be. And she is. The Earth is so depressed and we keep scraping all the resources from it without a second thought. Perhaps people don't really see the impact they're making because Earth's resources are cleverly disguised. If your baby's diaper was made out of leaves after a very short time ou would see just how much you were impacting the planet.
An average baby will use roughly 2,788 diapers in a year. Think back to the image of using leaves for a diaper. That's a lot of naked trees. I'm not suggesting you use leaves. That would just be itchy and ineffective. I just trying to put an image into your head of consumption. My solution? Simple, old fashioned cloth diapers. Why, you ask? Even more simple.
They're more comfortable, less of an impact on resources, not nasty chemicals, and it even helps speed up potty training.
I'm sure the real issue on everyone's mind is money. It always is... Again, another argument for another day. So let's talk dollars and sense. Average cost of disposable diaper is $0.36. The cost of an all in one cloth diaper is $18.95 (www.fuzzibunz.com). At first glance there's no contest, but you have to think back to that number of diaper changes. The cost of diapers after one year is already $1,003.68. Again this estimate is based on the aforementioned average. The number of cloth diapers depends on how often you want to wash them. In order to only wash them three times a week you would need 36 diapers. The cost of those diapers is $682.20 which is just over half of only one year's cost of disposable. You may not even need that many if you plan to wash them more often.
Let's look at the carbon footprint left by both diapers throughout their life.
- Born in a factory along with millions just like it.
- Made with all sorts of chemicals like polyethylene, polypropylene, petrolatum, bleached paper pulp, etc.
- Packaged in even more plastic
- Shipped all over the country
- Worn for a matter of hours
- Removed and discarded
- Tossed in a landfill
- Left to sit and slowly break down for roughly 600 years.
To stick with my tree imagery an average mature oak tree can have roughly 200,000 leaves. If each of those leaves were a diaper, after one year you would need 4 trees to cover the amount of diapers used only by the babies born in one minute. Got that? Let your imagination run with that. Though personally is can't imagine diaper trees being too pretty.
Now put that information to the side and let's talk cloth diapers lives.
- Born on a cotton field, many are organic
- Processed in factory
- Shipped to stores or directly from site
- Worn for a couple of hours (leaving no diaper rash)
- Removed and tossed in Wet Bag
- Waits till laundry day
- Worn again and repeat next two steps till potty training
- Sits in closet waiting for baby number 2
- If no baby number two, sits in landfill for 6 months until completely degraded
Want one more good reason to use cloth over plastic? Look at them. They come in all different colors and prints. Have a stylish baby that flaunts his or her environmental awareness.