Changing Diapers: the Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My house no longer smells like a landfill.

Real Diaper Week is here!! The DFW Cloth Diaper Group is so excited to be participating in the Great Cloth Diaper Change again this year! For those of you who don't know, the GCDC is an event to raise awareness for cloth diapers. This year we are attempting to break last year's World Record of 5,026 babies simultaneously changed into a cloth diaper around the world. 

We are participating in the Real Diaper Week Blog Hop!

This year, Real Diaper Week was introduced to help YOU advocate for cloth diapers in your local community. The theme is "Real Simple. Real Diapers." Each day this week we will focus on the daily topic, and we encourage you to share this with your friends and family!

Want to know what 5,000 disposable diapers per child looks like?

I was reminded of the awful wet disposable diaper smell at our church on Easter Sunday. We helped in for the toddler room, so I had to change some diapers. Two poops and one pee. The poopy ones you would expect to smell bad. It's poop. But I almost forgot just how bad the chemicals in the disposables smell when they mix with pee. I used to work in daycare (and had 1.2 kids of my own in disposables) and was once accustomed to the smell. But after 2 years of using cloth, it was not a pleasant aroma.

One of the things I love the most about cloth diapering is that my house no longer smells like a landfill. We used disposable diapers on our kids until Riley was 2.5 years and Eli was 2 months. We tried a Diaper Genie (but ours wasn't as fancy as this one) and the Diaper Champ, but our house still smelled like pee and poop, mixed with the chemicals in the diapers. Not to mention the cost of the refills for the Diaper Genie. They get expensive, especially on top of the cost of disposable diapers.

More and more money went in the trash. The smell in our house was a constant reminder.

Pail deoderizers, room fresheners, sprays, candles, bleach.... nothing worked. My hubby took the trash out every night. We thought we just had to deal with it until our kids were out of diapers.

Disposable diapers generate 7.6 BILLION pounds of garbage each year. Each child in disposables contributes 2,000 pounds of garbage in only 2 years.

I could throw out a ton of facts about how bad disposables are for our environment. But instead I will link to a post that I read this weekend, because they did such a great job. The eco-living blog Small Footprint Family did a wonderful post called Why Disposables are Dirty and Dangerous. I have been cloth diapering for a little over 2 years, I've done all the research, I run a local cloth diaper group, I know the numbers. And yet it still grosses me out.

One of the points I frequently share when people ask about the environmental impact of disposables is that it can take at least 500 years for just one disposable diaper to decompose in a landfill. At least. That means the first disposables ever invented are still on this earth.

I know this. But the Small Footprint Family's blog post put it in a way I haven't thought of before:

In other words, if Christopher Columbus had worn Pampers, his poop would still be intact in some landfill today.

That's not the environment I want my kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids to grow up in.

I want a safe, healthy world for my kids to grow up in.

We started using cloth diapers to save money. The other benefits (environmental, health, cute-factor, fewer-to-no leaks, fewer diaper rashes, better smelling house) were all just a huge bonus. However, we continue to cloth diaper for so many reasons. Environmental being a big one. I have always been a stickler for recycling, but now I find new ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle in our home. Now it's just a bonus that it saves us money.

Visit What A Waste and the Real Diaper Association's website for more information on how disposable diapers are impacting our planet. It's not pretty.

How can you help reduce disposable diaper waste?

  • Ask an environmental group, municipal waste division, or government representative to support cloth diapers.
  • Make the switch to cloth diapers, if you haven't already.
  • If you use disposable inserts in your hybrid diapers, try replacing them with cloth inserts.
  • Share this article with your friends and family.
  • Take the Change 3 Things Challenge.

DFW Great Cloth Diaper Change

University Christian Church
Fellowship Hall
2420 S. University Dr
Fort Worth, TX 76109

Vendor Expo and GCDC Event!
10:00 - 1:00

For more information on our local event, please visit our website.

This post was written by Brenda.  She has an awesome hubby (for 5.5 years) and 2 energetic boys (4, 2; pictured above).  She is the founder of the DFW Cloth Diaper Group and the DFW Cloth Diaper Project.

1 comment:

  1. Um, wow! The stat about Christopher Columbus really puts it into perspective!