Wednesday, April 7, 2010

To Cloth or Not to Cloth

Cloth diapering that is. I first heard about cloth diapers from my mom, who liked to remind me now and then that I never once had a disposable diaper on my bum. I had been considering the question of whether to cloth diaper ever since Miss Monkey was born. I bought several all in one diapers to test them out, then gave them away when we decided to move from Maui as I had fallen in love with gDiapers and their flushable system.

After diggin' the G's for a while, and discovering that we could NOT flush them in the lovely historic building we lived in, let alone anywhere with septic or plumbing older than 10 years---I sat down one day after we moved to Colorado, and made 3 columns on a piece of paper. One for disposable diapers, one for gDiapers (a nice hybrid diaper), and one for Fuzzi Bunz pocket diapers. For just one year of diapering, based on an average number of diapers used at that time (she was ~1 year old) Fuzzi Bunz, fully a cloth pocket diaper, won out completely. Cloth is a one time purchase. So, the total cost of the diapers eventually goes to nil. The more often they're used, the more children they're used with makes cloth the most cost effective diaper available. Presenting this to My Loving Husband, showing him how much money we'd save, seemed to win him over for a time.

Now, in appreciation of being "green" one must consider the ecology of the area. On Maui, where water is scarce, but so is land, cloth is a more viable option for the most part. It's probably greener out there to avoid contributing to the garbarge dump, and use water instead. If a mama really wanted to be green out there though, she'd consider elimination communication. Here in Colorado, water is scarce, and land is bountiful. So, one might conclude that compostable diapers are the best bet (i.e. GroBaby BioSoakers, OR gDiapers inserts). The problem is, truly composting a diaper insert means be exposing it to the elements, burying waste doesn't help it decompose faster. So considering where we live now, a compostable diaper would be ideal---and easiest to convince The Man to use as it is essentially "disposable" after depositing the solids in the toilet. The main difference, for instance the Biosoaker, has much less mass to it than the typical disposable diaper. The most important absorbent part of the diaper is used ,disposed of, and the shell is re-used cutting back on the overall amount of garbage created. The Man cares little about being green (taking in to account the gimmicky commercialization that being Green has undergone), so this is not an easy sell. Convenience is a main point to me, what a lovely system to just wash and re-use and never have to venture out with newborn & preschooler in tow to purchase more diapers! Again, he cares little for the convenience, and his common complaint is the ammonia smell cropping up when the dirties are left for a day too long (incidentally, washing with a cup or so of vinegar remedies this issue perfectly).

So we are at an impasse, he has a decision and so do's just not the same decision. Because I want to change diapering "systems" for Baby, going to a one size shell system---less laundry and won't have to purchase more diapers in the future due to outgrowth. Our current budget mayn't allow for the purchase, so I'm entering contests and cruising Freecycle, CraigsList, etc. Currently there is a contest at, it's their 9th Birthday and they're celebrating by giving diapers away, HOORAY!
Maybe I'll get lucky.

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