365 [days in the year] x 8 [diapers a day] x 4,000,000 [babies born in the U.S. each year] = approximately 11,680,000,000 diapers ending up in the garbage. Though the total number of diapers
disposed of in the U.S. over the course of a year is sure to be much,
much higher. This number doesn't include children older than a year.
Many children aren't out of disposable diapers, or disposable training
pants until they are two years or older. So let's just multiply that
number by 2.5 [the average age of potty training]. That equals 29,200,000,000.
The actual number of babies born in the U.S. is closer to 4.3 million
each year, but I decided to round down some to account for us cloth
diapering types. So, wow, more than 29 billion diapers. That is a lot.
Think how much energy it takes to produce and transport those. Think of
the resources and the landfill space being squandered. I am sure the
diaper companies don't mind. It means money for them.
I've had some people, who choose disposables, claim that they aren't that much
worse. They claim that cloth users are wasting water. Do they realize
it takes water and many other resources to produce their throw aways?
Or the fact that the dirty diaper water that leaves my washing machine
goes to the sewer. That is a place that is already set up to receive
that kind of waste. Landfills aren't really meant for human waste. For
more on that, check out this diaper hyena article.
That article also touches on the many positive aspects of cloth
diapering outside of the environmental impacts (and there are many).
It's not too late to switch. Ever. Punky doodle was about 15 months old when
I made the switch. I wish I would have done it sooner. I had so many
people tell me that I didn't want to do cloth. What did they know? (Not
much.) Did they realize I had to live with my guilty conscience every
time I threw a bag full of diapers into the garbage can? (Probably not.)
Admittedly, the cloth diapering world can be a bit confusing to a newcomer. That
was part of why it took me so long to switch. Then, I met some AP moms
who cloth diapered, and they gave me lots of good advice. I would like
to pay that forward. I want to help anyone and everyone thinking of
switching. Have questions? Just ask me. I'm happy to help.
Coming tomorrow...cloth diapering 101.
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