Thursday, March 2, 2017

Disposable Diapers: Ways to Cut Back

Everyone meet my son. His name is Zayden Knox Poushey Ford. Hes nine months old with a lot of personality as you can see. Being a father to a newborn means that I get to spend most of my hard earned cash on diapers. I would say that Zayden goes through about six-seven diapers a day. They only get used once and then thrown away. Disposable diapers also use a significant amount of crude oil.  This can become very wasteful of course and there are other alternatives to go greener with diapers. For example, cloth diapers. It would cut back on money but would also use a lot of energy washing and cleaning them. Should I keep using the disposable diapers that only get used once and thrown in the garbage or try to use cloth diapers instead? Lets weigh the options.

Now when it comes to disposable diapers over 90% of babies in the U.S wear them.  It takes 1.3 million tons of wood pulp-or 250,000 trees to create these diapers. Not to mention 82,000 tons of plastic ( according to the Rhode Island Solid Waste Management Corporation). Since disposables are only used once and thrown away trees need to cut down and plastic needs to be produced from crude oil all day, everyday.

Let's say every new parent around the world stopped using disposable diapers and transitioned to cloth diapers. This would mean that other means of the Earth's resources would be consumed. This would include an alternative use of forests around the world as well as crops. The use of cotton could play a significant role when it comes to the manufacturing of cloth diapers. No one has ever implemented the idea.

Being new to parenthood it is easy to say that dirty diapers pile up! According to the U.S Environment Protection Agency, disposable diapers create 3.4 million tons of waste, making up 2.1% of trash, crowding the landfills in the United States.

The majority of the contents of the disposable diaper are made from crude oil and with more than 90% of parents choosing to use disposable diapers instead of cloth, our country is using more than 7 billion gallons of oil annually just on diapers. Since the materials produced to make disposable diapers don't break down easily in landfills, we're saddling future generations with overcrowded landfills and energy shortages due to our dependence on petroleum.

The cost of diapers can be pretty expensive. According to Consumer Reports the average parent will spend about $1,500 to $2,000 on disposable diapers before the child is potty trained. There has been comparisons concerning the price of disposable diapers and environmentally friendly diapers. For example, there's a product called the gDiaper. A consumer can purchase a starter pack of size small, medium and large, which contain two cloth pants and 10 disposable (flushable) liners. Refill packs containing 32 liners are available for only $13.99.

Not too bad right? Lets say that in two and a half years of diapering you would buy six starter packs, so that you would have at least four pairs of cloth pants in each size. You would then need to buy 186 refill packs for the 6,000 diaper changes you'll make. You'll spend around $2,600 gDiapering your baby.

The gDiaper sounds like a pretty cool alternative to disposable diapers. A parent could cut down waste, money and the use of the oil just by finding an alternative. Will I make that switch to gDiapers? It couldn't hurt to try.

Resource: "The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down -to-Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet"

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