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Real Simple Real Diapers Waste Reduction

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PhotobucketIt’s day two of Real Diaper Week and I want to talk a little bit about waste reduction. A child in disposable diapers will most likely use 6,000 diapers in their first two years. That thought alone motivated me to use cloth. I dreaded thinking about the landfill that my twins’ diapers would fill by the time they were potty trained! It would be nice if our city would give us a reward for keeping diapers out of our trash cans, don’t you think? We can make that happen. Right now there is a movement to get subsidies or vouchers from our cities in return for using cloth diapers. Many propose a $100 voucher that the city would give parents with children 18 months and under. Other proposals suggest a starter kit for families with babies under 6 months. However you look at it, this money could pay for 1/3 of your cloth diapering stash! In the months following the Great Cloth Diaper Change I will be working with my local diaper service agency to put together a proposal to our city officials in an attempt to get a subsidy system in place. We will be collecting signatures for those supporting cloth diaper subsidies. I hope you check back and sign!

If you want to learn more about how to get a subsidy program started in your city, go to the RDA’s Diaper Hub page on Facebook where they have posted a “how to” note!

Most of us know that using cloth diapers decreases your waste, but did you know that cloth diapering is the “gateway drug” to greener living? Once I started using cloth diapers I found myself using cloth in place of so many other disposable items in our home. We started using cloth napkins and cloth baby wipes. We bought flour sack towels to clean up kitchen messes instead of using paper towels. When microwaving food, I cover the bowl or plate with a cloth napkin instead of some other disposable product. When we have a cold we use small lightweight prefolds instead of tissues. All of these items are easy to wash with hot water in the same load with towels of similar color or with diapers. I am amazed at all the money spent on items we literally throw away! I remember one day when I realized that while I was keeping my children from the many chemicals in disposable diapers, I was exposing myself to the same or similar chemicals in sanitary products. Talk about an Ah-Ha moment. I went that day to Whole Foods and picked up a Diva Cup (a silicone menstrual cup) and cloth pads (aka momma-cloth). I haven’t bought disposable sanitary products since.

I hope this post gives you a hint at what a difference you can make to our environment (and your income) by making a few simple changes in your home. The time it takes to launder your cloth items is nothing compared to the time and money it takes to go to the store and buy their disposable equivalents! (Anytime I can avoid the song and dance it takes to keep my twins entertained at the grocery store is a bonus in my book!)


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