Saving the Planet

While waiting for Lili’s adoption to become final, I told myself and Dave, that I would be using cloth diapers on Lili. I used cloth on the boys to save money and being a stay-at-home mom there really was no good reason for me not to use cloth diapers.

Lili came home in disposable diapers and has been in them ever since. Disposables are just too convenient. Go to the store, buy a box of diapers, and Velcro them on your child. Too easy! The other reason I never switched, (okay, maybe I should say “My other excuse . . . .) is that the choices in disposable diapers are easier than the choices in cloth. It truly is amazing how many different cloth diapers there are to choose from. When the boys were in diapers I had the choice between prefolded or birdseye cotton diapers. I bought cute little diaper pins and plain old rubber pants. Now there is no need for diaper pins and I’m sure rubber pants are now found in museums. My choices now are Velcro or snap diaper covers which come in a variety of colors and prints. I can still buy prefolded cotton diapers and diaper covers have replaced rubber pants. My other choice is an all-in-one diaper. There are many different diaper companies and each one advertises something a little different about their diapers. I have to admit that having so many choices made the thought of switching a bit intimidating, but earlier this week I decided to check into cloth diapers again and found a woman who has a “diaper business” in her home. Yesterday Lili and I went to talk to her about all the choices and to see exactly what the differences are between cloth diapers. Wow!!!! She had shelves and shelves of different brands and each had something that was unique about them. After about a half hour of talking diapers, I made the switch from disposable to cloth. Yes folks, Lili has been home over a year, we’re just a few short months from potty training and I bought cloth diapers. But not just any cloth diapers, I bought prefolded unbleached Japanese cotton diapers with diaper covers that fit babies between 10 lbs and 40 lbs. Not only do they fit Lili now, but they will fit Naomi when she comes home. The diaper covers I bought are by a company called “Blueberry.” At the suggestion of my new ‘diaper expert’ friend, I also purchased an all-in-one diaper made by “Bum Genius.” She recommended the Bum Genius all-in-one diaper for night time. I also ordered some “gDiapers,” which arrived today. These are washable diaper covers with a biodegradable insert. The gDiapers will be used primarily for travel.

I really feel good about my decision to make the switch, even if I made it much later than I had intended. Considering the fact that we go through approximately 180 diapers a month, even if she’s potty trained in two months, I’ve kept at least 360 diapers out of our landfill. By-the-way, did you know that it takes a disposable diaper about 500 years to biodegrade? Yuck!!

There is another reason I switched. Money! Even though Lili is only going to be using diapers for a little while longer, eventually Naomi will be here and I’ll have everything I need to immediately put her in cloth diapers. Just doing some quick math, we will save at least $280 per year by switching to cloth diapers. I’m guessing I’ll have at least 2 more years of diapering (probably a little more), but we will save at least $560.

So, I’m trying to help save the planet and our wallets by using cloth diapers. In addition, we are now growing our own vegetables, I’m riding my bike to run errands around town, as our light bulbs burn out I’m replacing them with CFL bulbs, I use reusable cloth bags for shopping and we recycle our aluminum cans. I informed Dave that I want a clothes line in the yard to cut down on the amount of energy we’re using by running the dryer and I need to start recycling our plastics and papers.

I’m looking for more ways to ‘save the planet,’ so please share what you are doing.

6 comments

  1. We often do “Meatless Mondays”, but I’m not brilliant about it. If you just made the switch to cloth, I will seriously look at it today. Thanks!

  2. The best way to clean cloth diapers is to pre-rinse them off in the toilet using a Hand Bathroom Bidet Sprayer. So convenient and if you are trying to help the environment (and your pocket book) you can give it a double whammy by virtually eliminating toilet paper use at the same time as you benefit from using it on the diapers, by using it on yourself. I think Dr. Oz on Oprah said it best: “if you had pee or poop on your hand, you wouldn’t wipe it off with paper, would you? You’d wash it off” Available at http://www.bathroomsprayers.com they come in an inexpensive kit and can be installed without a plumber. And after using one of these you won’t know how you lasted all those years with wadded up handfuls of toilet paper. Now we’re talking green and helping the environment without any pain. One review: http://jonathanandandrea.blogspot.com/2009/04/spray-it-or-scrub-it.html

  3. We always said we would also do Cloth diapers when Kate came home. Somehow that ended up not happening. Not really sure how. I really need to look into them as well. I live with an Energy Manager, A.k.a, DH! Anyways, we make our own laundry soap and fabric softner as well. Totally a “greener” alternative and a lot less hit on the pocketbook. Let me know if you want the recipes and I can email you. Also, make sure you get a programmable thermostat so you can adjust your heating and cooling as needed.

  4. I know I am not doing enough. However, we do recycle. It drives me crazy outside the home to see plastic bottles in the trashcan. I even collect my students’ old glue bottles to recycle. We do have a programmable thermostat. I haven’t gotten “green” bags for the grocery store yet, but that is my hope. (I will have to have several) We do “recycle” our plastic bags though by using them in trash cans, for lunches, etc. I think if we lived in a bigger area we would use public transportation (like we did in DC). However, with four kiddos and their belongings, we are still driving alot…

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