Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Paper or Cloth?

With the recent addition of a baby to our household, there have been certain things that we've let slide in the environmental arena. No, we haven't stopped recycling or started using paper towels exclusively again, but we do run our small dishwasher more than usual and our washing machine, too.
One thing I've always planned on doing when I had a baby, was to use cloth diapers. Statistics estimate that over 27 billion disposable diapers are thrown away in the United States alone. An article in Countryside Magazine this month by Dennis Evers, states that "Over 50 pounds of petroleum products, 300 pounds of wood and 20 pounds of chlorine are needed to produce disposable diapers for one baby each year."
We've struck a balance between cloth and disposable in our house, but I feel slightly guilty that I use the disposable at all. I know many women who are all-cloth diaper users and don't seem to have a problem with it. I like to use disposable at night and sometimes for longer day trips when I'm not sure how readily available a changing table or clean surface will be. However, for us right now this is a good balance. I really like the diapers from Seventh Generation--rarely a leak and they are chlorine-free. They also seem thinner somehow than other disposables which we received as gifts, so they transport really well.
In addition to cloth diapers, I had planned to use cloth diaper wipes exclusively. While I got some great ones from Green Mountain Diapers, I hadn't had time to make the diaper wipe spray until today. Here's a quick recipe I found online for some:
2 Tbl. olive oil
2 Tbl. baby wash (organic if possible)
2 Cups of cold water
Add all to spray bottle and shake before each use.

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