saving the environment… 1 diaper at a time

yes, it’s true.  we’re tree huggers… kind of.  people still come first in our books, but we are very mindful of how we use the earth’s resources so there will be plenty left for the following generations.  i would hope that everyone knows that we cannot keep doing things the way we’ve always been doing them.  if everyone in the world lived like westerners, we’d all be in a heep of trash trouble.

a heep… that’s why we decided to go re-usable in the diaper department.  when considering what pottying method to use at the beginning of sterling’s journey – there were 3 viable options.  disposable, re-usable or no diaper (or on demand pottying).  we’ve been around option 3 for the past 5 years and have seen way too many babies poop and pee on pants, beds, couches, restaurant floors, cars, etc.  option 3 was a no go.

option 1 was too expensive and incredibly hard on the landfills. some argue that option 2 is also hard on the environment due to the amount of washing necessary, but we are in houston, tx now, and we have more water than we know what to do with here – thus this was the more environmental option for us.  we went with the Mommy’s Touch one-size-fits-all/all-in-one (aio) version.

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pro’s & con’s:  disposable diapers are convenient in that you just throw them away, but you have to continually go to the store to buy new ones.  it takes up to 500 years for them to degrade.  cloth diapers take some work in that they have to be washed and dried, but nothing goes into the trash.  at the end of their use (up to 3 children for 3 years each) they can be discarded like an old t-shirt and spend only a few years in the dump.  some say re-usable diapers use too much energy to wash and dry.  while they do use energy to wash, we line dry – takes 12-24 hours.  containment ability: both huggies and Mommy’s Touch are the same.  ease of removal and installation: same.

the second biggest factor for me, however, was the money.  we are averaging 5 diapers/day at the moment.  we have been informed that we can go to as few as 3/day in his 3rd year of life.  let’s use those as calculations for cost comparisons. we found the absolute cheapest possible off-brand diapers we could find at wal-mart.  using those costs @ $6/28 diapers, that’s 21.5 cents/diaper @ 5 per day for his first year with us (his 2nd year of life)… it will cost us about $392 for diapers his first year (assuming the prices don’t change).  we bought 20 Mommy’s touch diapers at $22 each.  total of $440.  At 3 diapers/day his 3rd year of life we estimate that it will cost us $235 for the year, and a grand total of $625.  that means about a $185 savings when compared to the cheapest (and not-so-good diapers). if we compare with name brands that don’t leak as much, the savings are much higher. 

now, we hope to have more children and from there it is all pure savings.  using these cheap wal-mart diapers, a 2nd child would cost us $1,100 just for diapers… but going the re-useable diaper route, that cost wouldn’t exist. 

so, our Mommy’s Touch diapers have the same leak protection as name brand diapers (and more so than off-brands), they don’t fill the land fills, they work from birth to 3 years old (although it does make our baby’s booty look big right now – ha! ), we don’t have to run to the store to get any, they pay themselves off in just over a year with a 1 year old (the payback is even faster with a newborn), and they support stay-at-home mothers intstead of large corporations since these are all made in the usa by stay-at-home moms.  these diapers do require more work in that they have to be washed and dried, but it’s worth it so far. 

in addition, we plan to take these with us overseas where the acquisition of disposables is even more inconvenient and we will be even more thrilled with them then.  besides, it’ll be nice to not have to be labeled as “wealthy foreigner”… as none of our friends could afford to buy diapers for their little ones.

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3 thoughts on “saving the environment… 1 diaper at a time

  1. You JUST might convince me to go cloth if I have another kid…. I, too, am convinced that WE should be the FIRST ones to stand up and take care of the creation…..

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