The green grass, clean sparkling water, chirping birds and blue sky, all these are going to appear soon only in picture books. Can the next generation even see those? Have you seen those recently and inhaled deep?
As a parent, I want to give my child a greener and cleaner planet. Many of you would hope the same for their kids. But how to get there? By reducing our ecological foot print. Ecological footprint is human demand on nature, the lesser the better. Going cloth diapering consciously is my baby step to the dream leaving less footprint.
When my hospital bag was packed I had packed all essentials baby clothes, nursing wear, daily essentials for next few days and REUSABLE HOMEMADE NAPPIES. Soon sleepless night, marathon feeds and life happened as I shifted to DISPOSABLE DIAPERS. Honestly, I was unmindful about this step for some time. Soon guilt started seeping in my system as I was choosing convenience with slow yet steady self-destruction.
Disposable diapers are easy-to-use, convenient, just use-change-dump but the ease add a huge pile to landfills. The diaper thrown in bin today would take about 500 years to decompose. An average infant uses about 10 – 12 or more diaper everyday which might reduce to 5-6 count as they grow toddler till they are toilet trained. Upon doing maths, till the baby is 2 years old she would have used almost 2000 to 2200 disposable diapers each year.
These diapers along with disposable wipes, plastic packages, and regular plastic garbage of cutlery, bottles, straws etc would sit on landfills as waste for years. Though we as parents would be using these diapers till the kid is toilet trained, yet it would keep choking the planet for over 500 years. And the kids get toilet trained by 2 – 3 years, one is lucky if the little one is ready earlier.
Additionally, these diapers are loaded with chemicals. Toxic chemicals. The soft, delicate skin of child stays right next to the chemicals for almost 24 hours every single day. Diaper rashes can give sleepless and cranky nights to child and parents.
So, what can be done to come out of the guilt of using disposable diaper and live a healthier sustainable life with little ease.
Here comes, the game changer Modern Cloth Diapers (MCD).
Traditionally, for newborn families used soft cotton clothes as nappies which are triangularly folded and knotted or pinned. A modern cloth diaper is more tempting over nappies. They are convenient like disposables and reusable. These come in various fabrics, styles, varieties and price range. Classically, most MCDs are made up of inner soaker material from fibers and waterproof polyurethane laminate (PUL) with snaps or Velcro.
The soakers can be made of synthetic microfiber or natural fibers as cotton, bamboo and hemp. Capacity and longevity of the soaker varies with the material it is made up of. But all of them are reusable for long, just wash – dry – use. As these are reusable, they can even be used for siblings or donated on or sold along.
Another colossal reason to switch to MCD is economical. One MCD cost varies from INR 700 – INR 900, if the MCD stash is about 25 – 30 diapers, it costs about INR 20,000 -24,000. On the other hand, a disposable one costing over INR 8.5 each on an average, for over 4000 disposable cost goes to INR 34000. A difference over 10,000 rupees matters, right?
Next beauty of MCDs, it grows with the child. For disposable ones, you have to check the size while getting one. But the MCDs just need to be resized and adjusted according to baby’s waist and thighs. Thus, again pocket friendly.
So, these cloth diapers are eco-friendly and economical with the comfort of disposables. The baby bum would stay with dry-feeling and have long absorbency time. Need more reason to switch to green diapering?
According to a study, Plastic manufactured till now is enough to cover Argentina. Things wouldn’t change overnight but we can start taking small conscious decisions to reduce the ongoing damage.
Do you try to be a “Green Parent”? How do you do it? Share your ideas.
This blog post is a part of ‘Conscious Diapering and Sustainable Living’. A blog train sponsored by Bumberry hosted by Genevieve from worldofgen.wordpress.com & Rashmi of http://notjustmommying.com/ . Here 18 Supermoms have joined hands to share their perspective on cloth diapering and living an eco-friendly sustainable lifestyle.