[Sust-mar] cloth diapers - why and how

Paul A Falvo pfalvo at chebucto.ns.ca
Thu Dec 29 01:25:57 EST 2005

Having washed over a thousand of these in 2005 -- most without the benefit
of electricity and running water -- this is a topic near and dear to me.

According to "Having a Baby Naturally" by Peggy O'Mara (ISBN
0-7434-3963-5) back in the early 1990s, when environmental awareness was 
at its peak, many US states considered taxing the sale of disposable
diapers or even banning them altogether. Proctor & Gamble created an
advertising campaign showing tree roots planted in compost with caption
"90 days ago this was a disposable diaper." In fact, no composting
facility in the country could handle disposable diapers and lawsuits
forced P & G to pull the ads. But, the damage was done. The MYTH spread
that disposable diapers are no worse than cloth.

Toronto now does compost disposable diapers. But, consider this:

- 18 billion disposables end up in landfills annually -- and remain there
for 500 years

- the wastewater from washing diapers is benign but the wastewater from
manufacturing the pulp, paper and plastics in disposables is toxic,
contains dioxins, sludge, solvents and heavy metals

- disposables use 20 times more raw materials, three times more energy,
twice the water and generate 60 times more waste than cloth diapers

There are also HEALTH advantages for your baby from using cloth diapers.
And, of course cloth is much cheaper. RSVP if you want me to send you the
full article with details on health benefits.

Fortunately, using cloth diapers is not that hard.

HRM has a diaper service. Fall River Laundry will come to your door once a
week, haul away your dirty diapers and leave you a nice clean bundle. All
you have to do is throw the dirty diapers in a bag. You are encouraged to
shake out fecal matter. Of course, you are also supposed to do this with
disposables (read the instructions). You also have to change the baby.
But, Diaper Dan at Fall River Laundry does the rest.

We used this service for a few weeks this fall. 
Hint: read the contract carefully before you sign. 

If you have your own washing machine, it is EASY to wash your own. We are
extremely happy with the great service and wonderful unbleached cotton
diapers we bought from Dartmouth home business Parenting by Nature.
Free shipping/delivery with minimum order. 

Parenting By Nature has an online guide to how to wash diapers. 

If you order from Parenting By Nature, please write my name or "sust-mar"
in the Comments section of the online order form or mention me.

RSVP if you would like my hints for happy diaper washing. And, if you live
off the grid like I did until recently, I would be happy to send you my
hints for washing diapers and other laundry with no electricity. 

Happy diapering!
P Falvo 			PO Box 933			
NEW! h: (867) 873-LOON (5666)	Yellowknife NT  X1A 2N7
vm: (867) 444-2679 (til 15 Jan)

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