I've been thinking about Earth Week and all that we do to try to be earth friendly in our home. We recycle everything we can (paper, cardboard, aluminum, tin, steel, plastics). We turn off lights when we aren't using them. We try to conserve water by turning it off while we brush our teeth. We buy organic foods when we can. I try to purchase items in recyclable containers only. All those things are great but I don't think any of them has as big an impact as our cloth diaper use.
According to the Clean Air Council: An average child will use between 8,000 -10,000 disposable diapers ($2,000 worth) before being potty trained. Each year, parents and babysitters dispose of about 18 billion of these items. In the United States alone these single-use items consume nearly 100,000 tons of plastic and 800,000 tons of tree pulp. We will pay an average of $350 million annually to deal with their disposal and, to top it off, these diapers will still be in the landfill 300 years from now. Americans throw away 570 diapers per second. That's 49 million diapers per day.
If you choose to cloth diaper, 24 diapers is usually adequate to diaper one baby for two days. Cloth diapers can be used for multiple children and will biodegrade quickly when you are done. Many cloth diaper brands now have one-size diapers that you can use from birth until potty training. Cloth diapering is not just earth friendly it is wallet friendly!
I won't list all of the scary things contained in the disposable diapers because there are just too many to list but you can visit the Real Diaper Association for all the details. (WARNING: You will be horrified at what disposable diapers contain!)
This week I will be posting a series of posts related to cloth diapering that includes: Cloth Diaper 101, a couple of cloth diaper reviews, a wet bag review, a diaper pail liner review.