- Apr 19, 2011
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In the leadup to Earth Day, when people are inclined to think about lifestyle changes to lessen their impact on the environment, one expects to see renewed inquiries into practices (like cloth diapering) most likely to make a difference. So Leanne Italie's AP article was very disappointing. Instead of covering the anniversary of single-use throwaway diapers, how much more relevant would a serious inquiry into reusable cloth diapers be at this time of year? How could waste reduction and "Reduce, Reuse" be appropriate for everything EXCEPT for diapers?
The very thesis of the article, that there is some "debate" about which types of diapers make the least impact on the environment, is dead wrong. There is no debate. Everyone is using the same studies. The politically-influenced (consider where the money is) conclusions to the most well-known studies (those published in 2005 and 2008 by the UK's Environment Agency) completely misrepresent the actual data found in the body of those studies. While they are already flawed in favor of disposable diapers, the data STILL shows that reusable cloth diapers have a 40% LESS impact on the environment than do single-use plastic diapers. For a thorough review of the topic, see http://whatawaste.info/but-i-heard/flawed-impact-studies-review/.
To address a couple more errors from the article,
1. The Real Diaper Association and the Real Diaper Industry Association worked together to create a directory of cloth-diaper-friendly daycare providers. That can be found at http://daycare.realdiaperindustry.org. While it's true that many daycare providers are initially hesitant about cloth diapers, parents in the U.S. and Canada are changing those attitudes every day by showing caretakers just how easy cloth diapers are to use.
2. To find support with cloth diapers, or to connect with grassroots cloth diaper advocates and educators in your community, please visit the Real Diaper Association at our correct web address: http://realdiapers.org/. Ms. Italie got one thing right. Cloth diaper advocates ARE scrappy. We are small (at least compared to Big Disposables), tough, and persistent.
On Saturday, April 23rd, hundreds of locations around the world will be hosting Great Cloth Diaper Change events. Participants will be setting a world record for most cloth diapers changed simultaneously. Why do such a thing? Because these parents have discovered that cloth diapers are better for the environment, better for their baby, and better for their wallet. Come see for yourself: http://greatclothdiaperchange.com. There's a source for REAL earth-friendly Earth Day coverage.