Canadian Cloth Diaper Stores

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Why Use Reusables?

The reasons to use reusable or cloth diapers are many. This blog post will outline a few of the reasons many families are making the choice to ditch disposable diapers and use reusables.

No matter what you believe regarding the environmental impact of cloth versus disposable diapers, you need to understand that VOLUME is a huge part of the equation. How many disposable diapers would you estimate a baby will go through before he or she potty learns? Let’s start counting….300 in the first month…..250-300 in the second month….all added up for a total of 5000-7000 diapers tossed into the trash! That is a huge amount of garbage! Imagine piling 300 dirty disposables next to your newborn the first month of their life, then another 300 the next month and keep going. Because it is so easy to simply drop a disposable in the garbage and not think about it any further, the cumulative impact of throwing away diapers can be elusive for some parents considering how to diaper their baby. Compare those 5000-7000 disposables with the 30-80 reusable diapers a baby will require, depending on the system being used. That is potentially 6970 fewer diapers to be manufactured, packaged, shipped, etc.!

Over four MILLION disposable diapers are discarded in Canada each day!

The effluents from manufacturing the plastic, pulp and bleached paper for disposable diapers are damaging to the environment. 2.4 million trees in Canada and one billion trees world-wide are used per year to manufacture disposable diapers. In Canada, the manufacture of disposable diapers consumes over 65,500 tonnes of plastic each year.

Most parents using disposable diapers do not dispose of solid waste properly by dumping them into the toilet. The untreated waste placed in landfills by dirty disposable diapers risks contaminating ground water.

Babies have diapers in contact with delicate areas 24 hours a day. Many parents have concerns about chemical exposure from exposure to disposable diapers. A diaper has more prolonged contact with your baby’s skin than anything else in their wardrobe or environment. The fluffy part of disposables is a pulp which is produced by chemically treating wood fibres. The pulp is whitened and softened when it is exposed to either chlorine-based or other bleaching agents. The waterproof part of throw-away diapers is made out of plastic. Disposable diapers are absorbent because they contain tiny beads of a substance called sodium polyacrylate. This chemical turns into gel-like crystals when wet. No long term research has been conducted to study the effect of this chemical on young children. Disposable diapers may also contain dioxins, pthalates, petrolatum, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, inks, perfumes, polyurethane and adhesives. Do you REALLY want any of these chemicals touching your baby's skin?

Purchase and launder your own cloth diapers and save hundreds or thousands of dollars compared to using disposables or a diaper service. When your child has potty learned, you will have diapers left to sell or to use for your next baby. It is possible, using a cloth diapering system of flats or prefolds and covers, to cloth diaper a baby for under $300 total, through to potty learning.

Diapering System
Prefolds & Covers
Laundering diapers costs
less than a dollar per load
One-Size Pockets
24 diapers total
Sized All-in-Ones
24 small, 20 medium,
16 large
Diaper Service (average cost)
*assumes potty learning
at age 2.5
$2200 or more
*assumes potty learning
at age 2.5


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