If you had asked me two years ago if parents still use cloth diapers, I would have said I didn’t know, and why would they, anyway? I always thought disposables were a wonderful advancement of our contemporary world. I even remember making jokes that it was a good thing I am a mom in this day and age, because I don’t know how I would have survived cloth diapering my kids. Oh, how foolish I was!
Almost two years ago our family had an experience where we were caught without diapers, away from house and diaper bag, and in DIRE need of a clean diaper and wipes. I found it odd that I had no knowledge of how to handle the situation, without a sized disposable diapers, and chemical wipes. Shortly thereafter, my hubby strongly encouraged me to look into cloth diapers for financial and environmental reasons. I started my scour of the internet for mama’s and their cloth diapering experiences. I was shocked to find the plethera of information out there! There were a LOT of moms who claimed it was the only way to go, and I don’t remember a single one saying they were going back to disposables. Hmmm…
Upon examination of this whole issue, I found out that a disposable diaper takes hundreds of years to decompose! If you look around, sources estimate anywhere from 200- 500 years, on up. In case you aren’t good with math, that means that since the invention of disposables, not one diaper has decomposed! That’s awful! I remember having two little ones in diapers and how much space in our garbage can the diapers took up. Yikes!
The other alarming info I found was about the chemicals in a disposable. There was a time I didn’t have a swimming diaper, and so I put my infant daughter in a kiddie-pool. Well, if you’ve ever done this you know what comes next… An explosion of these tiny, clear balls, all in the pool. I mean there were millions! What do they put in these disposables?! I don’t want them on my babies’ buns. Here are some of the chemicals used:
- Dioxins (highly carcinogenic)
- Sodium Polyacrylate (the clear balls; caused tss in tampons
- Tributyl-tin (TBT)- chemical toxic to aquatic life; doesn’t decompose
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)- harmful to humans; damage organs and central nervous system; carcinogenic
Once again, what started out as a way to simplify our life and be economical, ended up not only doing a great favor to our planet and future generations, but it is healthier for our kiddos too.