A few weeks ago another blogger posted this article
in Marie Claire, discussing a new book by the French author Elisabeth Badinter. While the article is very interesting to me, and brings up a few logical points, Id like to focus on one in particular. Here is an exert from the article:
I don't really remember when I first entertained the idea, in fact I can't even remember when I was introduced to modern cloth diapering out side of my sweet friend Betty * in Uganda, who put her boy Kimby in what she called "plastic baby pants", which actually sound as terrible as they are. Other wise, most of the babies ran around stark naked and essentially went where they were standing.
There were several reasons why I wanted to do cloth diapers, and
I deiced we decided to do them before Julian was even born.
1. The disposable diapers that I considered good enough (bleach/chlorine free, easily composted) where very expensive anywhere from 25 to 50 cents a pop (or poop). X and I both have very sensitive skin, so I figured Julian would have it as well. I was very right. So, the savings cost wise was a huge incentive. I paid about $200 for our diaper system, which will last until Julian is potty trained and even through another baby if we ever decide to have one. Which means, I have saved over 700 dollars in the first year alone.
2. When my brothers were born I was about 11. I had no problem changing diapers, but the smell of the garbage after even a couple of them was disgusting, officially my least favorite smell, EVER and haunts me to this day. Our apartment is very small and I knew that if we had disposables piling up in our tiny can in our tiny kitchen in our tiny apartment, the whole place would smell terrible.
3. Its technically illegal to dispose of human waste in a garbage dump. If you dont want it in the water, dont put it in the garbage. No one is going to come and arrest you BUT most diaper packages DO say to flush the poop in the toilet before throwing the diaper away. If Im going to be flipping poop into the toilet anyway, I might as well save money while I'm doing it.
4. Obviously the environmental damage is outrageous. Think of it this way, if you change your baby at least an average of 8 times in a 24 hour period, (which is about what I do) thats almost 3,000 diapers in one year! I honestly do not want to contribute over 6,000 diapers to the already monstrous amounts of garbage americans produce a year, it is estimated that there are over 24.7 BILLION disposable diapers going into landfills each year, producing 3.4 million tons of garbage. All of this just for the sake of connivence, especially when advancements and new technology on the cloth diapering front make cloth almost as convenient as disposables. In one study conducted by the National Association of Diaper Services found that disposable diapers produce seven times more solid waste when thrown away and three times more waste while being manufactured. On top of that, effluents from the plastic, pulp and paper industries are worse for the environment than the cotton growing industries.
5. Cloth diapers are counter culture, there for badass and "indie" by nature.
6. They are actually really cute, and in the summer time, Julian can run around looking very European in his cloth diapers that look like little speedos.
I try to be a compassionate person, I try to take into account what my actions are doing for the generations after me, and taking all of this into consideration I can't really wrap my mind around why more people, if they have the resources (which is essentially running water..) haven't jumped on the band wagon. Some people might have more than one child, and think its too much work. Both Julian and Naomi are in cloth diapers and it takes an extra three minutes to wash and hang them out to dry. Its unbelievable that something as simple as reusing cloth diapers makes such a huge impact on the environment, and so little people are making the effort. Later in the article Elisabeth Badinte says this in response to cloth diapers: