Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A word on cloth diapers

When I first became pregnant, my sister suggested I use cloth diapers. I resisted at first. As much as I love the environment, I really wasn’t sure whether I could commit to using cloth. I pictured the worst: diaper pins, yucky hard cracked plastic covers, smelly diaper pails, having to wash loads and loads of stinky, stained diapers.

Much to my surprise I am really enjoying cloth diapering. It helps that the diapers are super cute (they are a bright lemon yellow and have soft fleecy insides). They even have a cute name: Fuzzi Bunz!

I know this makes me weird, but I enjoy washing them (I hang them to dry in order to save energy and to avoid unnecessary wear on them). I enjoy it because it’s so easy, but mostly because I know that every time I wash my cloth diapers I have avoided sending the equivalent number of diapers to the landfill. I must admit that things have gotten a little bit more interesting since Ian has started solids –but I still don’t mind.

Some argue that the energy/water needed to wash the diapers outweighs their ecological benefits, but I don’t buy it. When you consider the energy, the chemicals and the plastics used to make disposables, the energy to transport them, the plastic wrapping they are sold in and how long it takes for them to biodegrade, cloth definitely wins. Having said this, we do use disposables sometimes (like when we travel and overnight).

Things you might not know about cloth diapers:

1) They come in cool colors and are super easy to use (no pins or plastic covers needed)
2) There are lots of different kinds of cloth diapers now which range in price from $40 for a dozen to $23 each
3) If you hang them to dry in the sun stains will be ‘bleached’ away (I didn’t believe this but it actually works!)
4) You can buy a special bag that hangs at the back of your door to put the dirty diapers in, when you wash your diapers you just throw the bag in with the diapers (so no cleaning dirty diaper pails)
5) Some stores have a loan program which can help you figure out what kind of diaper you might like (some types fit some babies better than others)
6) Many come in one size fits all (so one size fits your baby from newborn to toddler)
7) Your baby will need fewer diaper changes as he/she gets older so the number of diaper washes diminishes which makes it even easier.

If you live in the Ottawa area ‘The Extraordinary Baby Shoppe’ is definitely the place to go for cloth diapers. They have a huge selection and they are very knowledgeable.

I know a few woman who do elimination communication (I wouldn't have believed it, but I've seen it done with my own eyes... totally makes sense if you think that most of the world doesn't have access to disposable or cloth diapers). Now THAT's GREEN!

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