Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Speaking of All Things Baby...

Stumbling around the Natural Products Expo in search of green baby things, mind reeling from information overload, I saw lots of cloth diaper booths. This is good. My favorite was Sweet Pea Diapers (http://www.sweetpeausa.com/pages/Why-Cloth%3F.html) , because they were cute and colorful and the lady there told me that I should try the financial aspect of getting people to switch. Oh, and the smelly aspect. And the health aspect. But mostly the money. I didn't buy any for the upcoming step-grandchild, because it is clear they will not be used. Because they are smelly and messy. Except that they are not. They are better and cheaper in the long run and easier and oh so much healthier. But that never seems to matter. Because parents are afraid it will be too smelly. Sigh. I've covered before how with ALL diapers, you are supposed to take the waste and actually FLUSH it, and you then do not have nearly as much a smell as you think you will. And not nearly as much extra laundry as you think you will. And disposable diapers are not meant to wrap up the smelly waste and then tossed in a "genie" then the landfill where you can forget it forever. No. But, no one cares to look into that. Even though they know that is a giant part of having a baby: diapers. Yeah, let's slap toxic chemicals and bleached products and rash-causing plastics on the most delicate of skin. Cuz, you know, there might be smelly consequences otherwise. It's hard. Can't have that. That delightful lady told me that, done properly, a bin of waiting-for-laundry diapers is a rose garden compared to a bin of disposables.

Cute Sweet Pea Diapers
I also found a little campaign called Change 3 Things (http://change3things.com/index.php) that asks parents to "commit to using 3 cloth diapers a day instead of disposables for 1 year." Hmm. Seems like that should be doable. It's for the child's future and well-being after all, right? Don't you want them to have health and a nice planet on which to live and raise their children? No? Because it's smelly? And hard? Here are the fun little factoids they toss out (direct quotes):

  • One baby contributes at least 1 ton of waste in diapers alone to a local landfill.
  • Disposable diapers are the third most common consumer product in landfills today.
  • A disposable diaper may take up to 500 years to decompose.
  • A family can spend $1500 to $2000 or more on disposable diapers by the time the baby has moved to potty training.
One baby = 1 ton of waste? How many babies are born each day, month, year? And we have no idea how long it will take to decompose because none of us will be here that long. And plastic doesn't decompose and go away, it just gets smaller and smaller and stays around pretty much forever. And I would say a family would spend a lot more if they changed the baby as often as it SHOULD be changed, but because Pampers keep babies falsely dry for so long, parents will often leave the same diaper on way too long, contributing to rashes that require even more money shelled out on doctors and creams. Not to mention the suffering of the poor kid and the crying and sleeplessness of all involved. 

You know, because cloth diapers are smelly. We can't be bothered. 

It's funny that having a baby seems to absolve parents from doing the right thing by not just the rest of us, but by their own baby, as well. Because it's hard. And, oh, yeah, here's that point again: I don't have any so I can't have a say.

Except for that little part that, yes, I can.