Cloth diapers originally came into vogue because, well, that was what was available during the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. As is the case with virtually every other Western trend cloth diapers went out of style and are making a comeback. Cloth diapers originally went out of style when disposables first became popular in the 1960’s, but since the early 1990’s are making a comeback (please see if you’d prefer a more detailed history).
While there has been some hot debate regarding the overall true environmental impact of cloth diapers, there nonetheless do exist a few very convincing reasons to begin using cloth diapers:
(1) The Real Diaper Association maintains that cloth diapers can reduce your global warming footprint by as much as 40%, so long as you use them in the proper manner. They recommend that consumers begin by washing a load at a temperature of no more than 140 degrees Fahrenheit, line drying, and then handing down the diapers to another child.
(2) On average, approximately 10,000 tons per day of disposable diapers are placed in our landfills, with most projections asserting that it takes hundreds of years for disposable diapers to fully deteriorate. If people keep choosing to use disposable diapers, where do you think we’ll be able to put them all?
(3) Another independent researcher, Carl Lehrburger, found that disposable diapers produce 7 times more solid waste and 3 times more waste during the manufacturing process.
(4) While the usage of disposable diapers at any one point in time can contribute to environmental problems, the real damage is caused when adding up the pollution caused at each stage of manufacturing. One researcher’s data show that disposables use 10 times more resources when measured in terms of weight and fuels consumed.
(5) 80% of all diapers used are disposable. This accounts for a startling 18 billion diapers each year! Wood pulp is used to help make diapers comfortable, and after just a few hours of active usage, these 18 billion diapers use 1.3 million metric tons of wood pulp. It takes the destruction of approximately 250,000 trees to produce these 18 billion diapers!
Overall, while many arguments in favor of disposable diapers exist, there remains a larger body of evidence in favor of the usage of cloth diapers, and hopefully the reasons provided will help you to make a decision in favor of cloth diapers.
Author Bio: Dan Stelter is a proud parent and professional working with mentally disabled teens and adults. His goal is to spread the economic and environmental benefits of cloth diapers. See Adult Cloth Diapers HQ if you have a further interest!