Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cloth Diapers

I like cloth diapers because they fit all three R's*:

Reduce: At the time of this post, after less than 2 weeks of using cloth diapers, we have kept 68 diapers from going into a landfill.  Additionally, my mother in law made me cloth wipes, so we are not using disposable wipes; rather, we are washing and reusing the ones Grandma made.

Reuse: Each of these diapers will get used more than once, and all of my cloth diapers except two were purchased from - or given to me by - others who had previously used them.  They are on their second family!

Recycle: I use my washing machine to clean these diapers.  The used water from my washing machine leaves my home, is treated and cleaned, then released back into the water system.

Below are just a few stacks of our many cloth diapers.

I was impressed when I realized just how easy cloth diapers were.  There is very little extra work that goes into using cloth.  Initially I was grossed out by thinking about having to touch all the dirty diapers, but I learned that it really isn't that "hands on."  I simply discard the contents of any soiled ones into the toilet, then put all of the dirty diapers into a bucket in Feven's room.  About every other day, I empty the contents of the bucket into the washing machine.  The bumGenius brand I use requires you to remove some inserts before washing, but it hasn't been gross yet!  The Mother-ease brand I use doesn't have inserts, so it all goes in the bin!

I also like the time it saves me.  I don't have to run to the store for diapers or wipes; it's all there, already in my home.  My pocketbook tends to like that too.  :)

I'm very grateful for the friends in my life who encouraged me to try cloth.  Those same friends are still helping me when I have a question here or there about cloth diapers.  What a great support system! 

*With all of the benefits of cloth diapers, I realize that there is still an environmental footprint that goes into the making and use of them. The materials in the diaper had to be produced and assembled. The diapers themselves had to be shipped to either the store or the home of the first owner which uses fuel and pollutes the air. Also, it takes energy to use my washing machine and dryer to clean the diapers, and energy to treat the wastewater I create by washing them. However, all things considered, I do feel that the benefits to the environment outweigh the drawbacks.

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