Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Diaper service vs. investing in your own diapers

My diaper service for the last 10 years is Tiny Tots. I was going to quote a lot of studies and facts but if people really care they can do the research themselves and decide what is best for their family. Cloth diapers work for us and help the environment. AND please don't get me started on Proctor and Gambles Pampers! YIKES, very bad stuff!

There are lots of different types of cloth diapers. Some are better then others. As for me, I wish I had invested in the beginning in the cloth diaper wraps but who knew I would have 4 kids? !! I never had my own washer and dryer so it made sense to always do the diaper service instead of invest in my own cloth diapers. I just couldn't see washing them at the Laundromat every week. Living in the Bay Area I would say quite a few of my friends use cloth diapers. But more of them use single use diapers and are perfectly okay with that. Our kids turn about almost the same and if they are a little different it comes down to other parenting choices not the cloth vs. cloth vs. single use. If I had my own laundry facilities I think I would have invested. It would have saved in the long run. Instead I come out even financially...the diaper service is about how much I would have spent on the single use diapers.

I hope that Those that are thinking about the choices out there really take the time to do the research. Okay I can't help it here are just a few facts....I got most of them from Mothering.com and Tinytots.com and check out http://www.tendercargo.com/ for great prices and accessories for diapering.

"Less Water and Energy are Used to Launder Cotton Diapers than to Manufacture Paper Ones. Two days’ worth of diapers for one baby can be laundered in water equivalent to one flush of the toilet.

Don't get me started on the how Raw Sewage is a Public Health Hazard! If it goes in a landfill you are going to have problems! Raw sewage is dumped in landfill sites, breeding viruses and bacteria. As many as 100 viruses can survive in soiled diapers for up to two weeks."

"It Takes 20 Trees to Diaper One Baby in Disposables for 2 Years"

"99% Less Garbage is Generated When Cotton is Used
Single-use diapers will require over 500 years to decompose. Cloth diapers normally don’t enter our landfills since, after they are retired from the diaper service, they are used as rags until they disintegrate."

Diaper Service: Health Benefits
"You Will Know When Your Baby Needs a Diaper Change
Cloth diapers contain no chemicals and so it is easy to tell when a diaper needs to be changed. Super absorbent disposable diapers contain sodium polyacrylate, which absorbs up to 100 times its weight in water, the same substance removed from tampons in 1985 because of the link to toxic shock syndrome. Chemical induced dryness does not make germs, bacteria and heat go away."

"Baby Boys Benefit From Wearing Cotton
Scrotal temperature is increased in disposable plastic lined nappies. Excess heat in the groin area of boy babies wearing disposable diapers may be a cause of the reduced sperm count among males in recent years... at least a 25% reduction worldwide... and could also affect the future testicular health of males in years to come. It is thought that disposable diapers heat up baby boys' testicles to such a degree that it stops them from developing normally. Diapers lined with plastic raise the temperature of the scrotum far above body temperature and can lead to a total breakdown of normal cooling mechanisms, according to a study from Kiel, Germany published in the Archives of Disease of Childhood.
The complete Kiel study can be found at archdischild.com."

"Less Rash When Cotton Is Used
In 1955, 100% of babies born in America wore cotton diapers and only 7% of them experienced diaper rash. However, in 1998, with 90% of American babies in disposable diapers, the occurrence of diaper rash increased to 78%.
Hour after hour and day after day for two years or more, your baby will be wearing a diaper. It's the most intimate and important clothing in a baby's life -- in constant contact with the baby's vulnerable skin over a super sensitive area of the body. "

-------------------This next part is from the Joy of Cloth Diapers article by Jane McConnel 1998 Mothering Magazine.
"Some will argue that in areas where water is scarce, disposables are the better environmental choice. However, carrying this argument to the extreme, we should be wearing disposable clothes, and using paper plates and plastic utensils. Washing cloth diapers at home uses 50 to 70 gallons of water every three days--about the same as a toilet-trained child or adult flushing the toilet five to six times a day. A diaper service puts its diapers through an average of 13 water changes, but because of the economies of scale, uses less water and energy per diaper than one laundry load at home.

Today, as a rule diaper services use biodegradable detergents not harmful phosphates. The waste water produced from washing diapers is benign, while the waste water from the manufacture of the pulp, paper, and plastics used in disposable diapers contains dioxins, solvents, sludge, and heavy metals.3 Chlorine bleach, whose manufacture is harmful to the atmosphere, is used in whitening diaper service diapers, but the environmental impact is far greater in the paper-bleaching process used in making disposable diapers.

Cotton, of course, is not without its evils. Conventionally grown, it is a major user of harmful pesticides. There are, however, several companies offering organically grown, unbleached cotton diapers as an alternative.

Ultimately, instead of getting bogged down in each side's scientific data, the most commonsense approach is to use commonsense. Weigh the impact of manufacturing and disposing of 8,000 paper-and-plastic diapers over the average diapering period of a child versus that of a few dozen cotton diapers, and decide for yourself which is better for the environment. "


I personally have been perfectly happy with the last 10 years of cloth diapering. Our diaper service was really the best choice for our family here in the Bay Area. I hope if you read this blog you will take a look at what you can do for the environment before your children are out of diapers. I think everyone can make a difference. IT really makes a difference in our garbage can overflowing or not each week! It makes a difference in to the Earth and it makes a difference to my family. Have fun researching more of the pros and cons of diapers!

1 comment:

le said...

I told you about the lady in my ward that sells cloth diapers
She has gotten me thinking, because I'm getting to the point I can't stand the smell of urinated on disposables. I really like conveniences, but oh the smell.