Doing my part – Going cloth by Earth Day

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I have always considered myself a bit on the crunchy side, but looking back I was more of a “wannabe”. I would by organic if it was on sale, or get the green products every once in a while… but for the most part I never really thought about what was going in my trash. Sure, I recycled my cans and bottles, but I never really gave it much thought beyond that; until I had a baby.

I will tell you, before I became a mom I NEVER could have anticipated how many diapers I would be going through. I think at one point when Lilly was a few weeks old we went through at least 15 diapers in a day! Suddenly our trash bags were not only so much heavier and fuller, but if we forgot about garbage day, it was definitely a big deal.
Cloth diapering was never on my radar. In fact, I had quite a few friends bring it up and I told them that cloth diapering may be the one thing I truly wasn’t interested in doing. Poop in my washer? No way. But for some reason I kept reading articles and scrolling through cute prints at 3am. There really should be a rule about scrolling Amazon at 3am… but I digress.

The combination of the current administration, earth day, and my overflowing garbage can, made me start thinking about ways I could actually make a difference and experimenting with cloth diapering immediately jumped to the front of my mind. I joined a few discussion groups on facebook, learned a ton about the washing process and started to obsess over all the cute prints. Seriously, lord help me if I ever find this Harry Potter diaper!

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I started by ordering a few prefolds and covers but the cute prints were too hard to resist and before my first order even showed up at my door I had ordered a few All in ones and a pocket diaper to play with. 17796210_10154656139343893_7466395000536501235_n

I got the Grovia ONE (pictured above) along with a Bumgenius Freetime (pictured below) 17545549_10154659796443893_2727970387575490516_o

After seeing how easy they were to use (and frickken adorable!) I decided this was in fact something I really wanted to do! I started watching a ton of youtube videos, and learning about all the different types and options. I was also luck enough to have a co-worker sell me some of her stash super cheap which was awesome because she had a lot of different things to try!

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I’m at the point now where I’m testing everything out, learning which ones I love and don’t love, while at the same time trying to burn through my stockpile of The Honest Company diapers before she outgrows them.

Why by earth-day? I just love the symbolism behind it. Disposable diapers are the 3rd largest contributor to landfills, and it takes 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks and 20 pounds of chlorine to produce disposable diapers for one baby EACH YEAR. [3]   After that, it is estimated that the diapers take 250-500 years to decompose in a landfill (where 94% of single use diapers end up). [1] [2] .  It really makes you think doesn’t it? I’m excited to do my part 🙂 **While I hope to be completely in cloth by earth day, it turns out there a TONs of sales that day!! So I will probably be putting the finishing touches on my stash then!**

On top of that, I learned that it will save us money! Cloth diapering, with the washing done in the home, can be less than a 1/3 the cost compared to using disposables.  Now the amount of money saved increased a TON when you consider that you can use the diapers through multiple children. Did I mention you can even resell them when you’re done!? The only problem I’m running into is that the majority of that cost is up front, which is making the husband quite skeptical that I am saving us money. This also means that I can’t go too crazy buying all the newest and cutest prints every few months. I actually started a spreadsheet with how much $ I’m putting into my cloth diapers vs how much I’m saving, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the cost works out for us personally. I’ll be sure to keep you all updated!

Have you ever considered cloth diapering or have you done it in the past? I’d love to chat!

Love,

Sarah & Lilly

Sources

1. Lehrburger, Carl. 1988. Diapers in the Waste Stream: A review of waste management and public policy issues. 1988. Sheffield, MA: self-published.
2. Link, Ann. Disposable nappies: a case study in waste prevention. April 2003. Women’s Environmental Network.
3. Lehrburger, C., J. Mullen and C.V. Jones. 1991. Diapers: Environmental Impacts and Lifecycle Analysis. Philadelphia, PA: Report to The National Association of Diaper Services (NADS).
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