With Earth Day quickly approaching, the question that may be plaguing many minds is “What can *I* do to better our earth? To help our planet?”. Many people will devote to recycling every can of soda they drink, or using earth friendly house cleaners, but there is one “green leaf” that’s turning over: cloth diapering. We think of cloth diapers as an old ratted rag held in place with a gigantic safety pin, but today’s cloth diapers leave much more to the imagination! With different work at home mom businesses making custom diapers, and even larger companies like G-diapers with biodegradable liners that are neither cloth or disposable, the possibilities on keeping baby and planet clean are endless!
But, why on earth would somebody want to deal with the mess of a cloth diaper, the hassle of extra laundry and the cost when disposables are far easier! After all, it only takes 500 years for one disposable diaper to degrade! The reasons are many, and actually, may be a lot greater than you think!
Firstly, the cost is astronomical. The money you can save from cloth diapering is enough to put a down payment on a car…or two. The average household will spend about $2000 on disposable diapers per child. Compare that with roughly 200-300 on cloth diaper accessories, and that can vary depending on the type you buy. From the more time consuming, yet economical prefolds with cover, to the fancy all in one diaper that is worn just like a disposable, but bears a larger price tag.
The second reason you may consider cloth is our beautiful earth. Not only do disposables take years and years to break down, but they are made with toxins. These leak back into the earth and are DEFINITELY not good for our planet. They are also not reusable (duh) so you spend money month after month on something you could purchase one time, wash, and reuse! Rinse, reuse, recycle, right? You can do that with cloth. With the diapers that have held up through your child’s use, you can resell to another parent interested in started the tradition themselves!
Thirdly, those same toxins that harm our earth can be dangerous to your baby! Why would you put something directly on your child’s skin that could kill them if ingested? Dioxin, a carcinogenic bleaching chemical, banned in feminine hygiene products, yet still used in making disposable diapers, is one of many reasons you may want to “think green”, and I don’t mean poop!
One thing that really swayed my decision to convert to cloth, aside from money and the benefits to my little one, was just how fun it was shopping and searching for the different diapers!! The designs out there will match any style you have, from punky diapers bearing skulls and cross bones, to pretty petite flowers dancing across your child’s perfectly wrapped bum. On top of being able to customize your diapers by look, many work at home mom businesses (like those through sites like www.etsy.com) offer a variety of materials to make your diapers from. Many are hypo-allergenic, made of hemp, fleece, and many other comfortable materials to accommodate the needs of you and your cloth booty cutie. I have so much fun shopping for new diapers, and I’m STILL saving money over disposables. As a woman, being able to shop AND save money is a godsend!
There is a list of endless reasons why one would want to use eco-friendly cloth diapers. Though disposables do have their pros, the cons far outweigh that. So, when the time comes, and you’re making some of the very important decisions while awaiting your little one, add this to the list. Cloth diapering: definitely NOT a thing of the past, but the thing for our future!