Friday, June 5, 2009

Being Green one diaper change at a time

I haven't posted in a while as I'm working on my thesis and all of my brain power is sequestered into that project but I can across another blog post that inspired me to do a little writing. Okay, well, the contest really inspired it but that's okay because it gives me an excuse to write about cloth diapering which I'm pretty passionate about. The Simple Mom is writing all week about cloth diapering and has some really great info. Today, she did a great post reviewing several different cloth diapers (both different brands and styles). It was by no means comprehensive...if you are not up on cloth diapering, there are 100's of different brands out there and a person could write for days...that's why we have that has product reviews on pretty much every product out there. The only downside is that like any customer review collection site, I think there tend to be more negatives because people are more passionate about leaving feedback if they are unhappy (most of the time) than if they are happy.

But anyways, about our cloth diapering experience: we started out with a diaper service. That's right, they still exist. It was great. They'd drop off clean diapers and pick up dirty diapers once a week. It was pretty affordable and ultra easy. After a couple of months though, the cost started to add up and I realized that for the price of about 2 months of service, I could buy all the cloth diapers I would ever need. By using the service for the first 4 or 5 months, I had bypassed the need for buying newborn size diapers (since she was born at 6 pounds, and was a teeny little thing, we definitely would have needed them). So now, I do my own diaper laundry. It is really and truly not a big deal. My husband's main objection to cd'ing was "having poop in the clothes washer". Well, while there maybe residue left after we dump the majority of the solid stuff in the toilet, with all the rinsing, I can guarantee that there is no poopy residue in our clothes washer. And I'm happy to report that he is no longer worried about his clothes being poopy :) So all in all, its a great experience. Just for a quick summary, my main reasons and "pros" for cloth diapering: more green (not adding human waste to landfills and not using oil to produce the diapers), not putting lots of chemicals and synthetics up against my daughter's body, cheaper (in the long run), and, very superficially, cuter. The downsides: more laundry to do (although its only about an extra two loads a week and diapers are much easier to fold than clothes); makes her tush a bit bulky which can make fitting clothes tougher (onsies don't always work). I think that's it.

Now to my dilemma...we are going on vacation next week to St. John, USVI. I can't decide if we should bring disposables or cloth (and yes, we'd bring disposables because everything on the island is at least 30% more expensive). Why is this a dilemma? We'll have laundry facilities at the house we are renting but water resources on the island are extremely limited and I'd feel a little guilty doing the extra rinsing that is involved in getting diapers clean. On the other hand, land resources are extremely valuable and limited and the idea of dumping a weeks worth of disposable diapers and adding to the trash that the island has to deal with makes me feel icky. Also, due to the lovely fees the airlines have instilled for checking luggage, suitcase space is precious and having a bunch of cloth diapers in there makes it all the more difficult to pack sparingly. Also, since we'll definitely buy stuff while we're there, bringing disposables is like forced planning to leave room for bringing home souvenirs. However, I actually hate putting disposables on that sweet little tush. She's so used to nice soft fabric against her bum that the idea of putting plastic there is icky to me. Plus, with it being all hot and humid down there, I worry that she'll get heat rash in disposables (which has happened before and is not a problem with cloth since its more breathable). Hmmm...well, what to do?

UPDATE: I guess it is the day of contests...there is another one at Cloth Diaper Blog


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