Americans are becoming more aware of environmental damage and are making changes to lessen their impact. We are learning to conserve our resources, use more natural products in our homes, and eat more organic foods.
However, one of the largest environmental concerns for new parents is often overlooked: the impact of disposable diapers on our eco-system and potentially on the health of our children.
A baby will use up to 8000 disposable diapers between birth and the age of potty training. Conversely, only about three dozen bamboo cloth diapers are needed for the same time period. Washable and reusable cotton diapers save money, are more comfortable and healthier for babies, and can eliminate billions of pounds of non-biodegradable waste from our landfills.
Some eco-conscious (and economically-minded) parents are concerned that washing cloth diapers requires the use of water and electricity. They needn’t fear. The manufacture of disposable diapers uses far more resources—including energy and water— to produce than are used in the process of washing cloth diapers at home.
Natural Fibers vs. Man-Made Gels
Cotton is an absorbent natural fiber that keeps the diaper area cool and comfortable. Disposable diapers are produced with plastic and super absorbent chemical gels. Are these chemicals really safe? While that question is still unanswered, cloth-diapering parents aren’t taking a chance with their babies’ health. Cotton is soft and comfortable, and there are no chemicals against babies’ sensitive skin.
Why don’t more Americans use cloth diapers? You might be surprised to learn that cloth diapering is making a comeback. New, easy-to-use diapers have snaps or Velcro-like closures, elastic legs and waistbands for a contoured fit, and stylish prints or colors. Some diapers even have a waterproof layer build in; no plastic pants needed. These modern cloth diapers make cloth diapering easy and even fun!
The Internet has opened many parents’ eyes to the development of new cloth diapering systems. The Diaper Pin website is a great informational resource on cloth diapers, providing descriptions and customer reviews of the many types of cloth diapers. Of course, searching for a local cloth diaper distributor right here in Pittsburgh would lessen your environmental impact (and cost) even more. A local cloth diaper company can help you answer questions on washing and care and help you choose which diapers will best fit your lifestyle.
If you have a baby, go green, and cloth diaper!
Owner of Green Earth Baby,
a former Pittsburgh cloth diaper company
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