Sunday, August 22, 2010

Not So Disposable

Cross-posted and archived from DC Metro Moms.  Original post date December 24, 2007.

We all know that once you have kids messes are made all the time. Almost every 2.5 seconds it seems and there is more trash than you ever thought possible leaving your home. If you own a diaper genie or some other stink holder then you know that the trash you put out more than doubles once that cute bundle arrives. It is like the diapers are having diapers inside that contraption. Diapers that clog our landfills and linger for years to come.

There must be something we can do right? There must be a better way that does not involve those cloth diapers. Because really? We are not all cut out for the washing of the poo. This video, Not So Disposable, by Dana Hackley, gets to the nitty gritty of what diapers are doing to our world. She offers yet another way to possibly solve this diaper dilemma by lobbying our state legislature to find a way to recycle them. A company called Knowaste already does this with great results in the UK and even here in this country. When you consider the fact that diapers, including adult ones, are one of the only household items not to be recycled these days added in with the 500 years it takes for them to decompose it doesn't take a math genius to realize we have a big problem on our hands.

It is incredibly easy to just throw those diapers away. They are disposable after all. Who wants to deal with safety pins, expensive diaper services, and washing nappies late into the night when you are already a sleep deprived parent to begin with? Our grandmothers and many of our mothers did it. So why can't we? I was a cloth diapered baby for purely economical reasons as was my spouse. I oddly didn't even think twice about an alternative to the Pamper when my daughter was born despite my preoccupation with natural baby products, organic food and a whole slew of other green techniques I institued in our house.

It wasn't until Dana's video that I really began to squirm in my seat and realize the mess I was creating from well, my daughter's messes. However, even when presented with the facts I'm at a loss on how to really begin finding a new alternative to buying that ginormous box of gel inserted diapers every two weeks. I applaud Dana's efforts to seek an alternative to disposable diapers because we aren't all cut out for the cloth nappy technique. We really should be finding other options out there. I think just speaking up about it opens a whole new realm for discussion and thought. I welcome anyone's suggestions on how to get this started in the DC Metro area or if anyone has experiences using products like the g-diaper or vinyl pants. That one I just can't wrap my brain around.


Bonacci said...

In Toronto, recycling of diapers has been in full swing for several years now. The "green bin" program allows all organic wastes, bones, and sanitary products to be recycled. All the surrounding cities have started taking part now also. To enforce the recycling programs, the city now limits garbage pickup to once every two weeks, and there is a two bag limit per pickup.

At first it's something you're not particularly happy about, but when you start to realize the benefits and finally get into the routine, it's great. My finance and I are down to about a half bag of trash every two weeks... There are so many things that are recyclable in our city now that it's pretty difficult to generate a lot of trash.


Reply December 24, 2007 at 06:48 AM ElleDee said...

It's really not that hard to adapt to using cloth diapers if you sign up for a diaper service. With our second child, I'm considering washing our own though, although I'm feeling a bit apprehensive about it. (I need to research if the diaper service's use of water is more efficient, for example; anyone know?). I've collected a lot of diaper covers and although you have to change wet diapers more frequently, it's not that bad. We did use a paper diaper at night though because our daughter was such a heavy nighttime wetter. This is a good site about using cloth diapers -

Reply December 24, 2007 at 10:58 AM Vicky said...

Wow Leslie, Thanks so much. I had no idea about the paper diapers for nighttime either. I will definetly check this out!

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