We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children. ~Native American Proverb
At Caterpillar Baby, we strongly believe that the choices people make every day add up; and we believe that the choice to use cloth diapers and natural products over disposables makes a big difference.
Cloth diapering is the traditional way to keep your child clean and fresh and it’s a method that is tried and tested. Like breastfeeding, it went out of vogue in the 20th century, being deemed “too old fashioned” for modern lifestyles. But cloth has made an incredible comeback over recent years as parents recognize the wisdom in choosing reusable cloth products.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion surrounding the differences between cloth and disposables. Here are a few facts:
- Cloth diapers prevent landfill over-use – Billions and billions of disposable diapers are used each year, and most find their way into landfills. In Canada alone, more than 4 million diapers are discarded every day.
- Cloth costs less – Cloth diapers can save you hundreds, even thousands, of dollars. New parents change over 2500 diapers in a baby’s first year, and disposable diapers cost $2500-$3000 per child from birth to potty training. They require a small investment up front, but once you buy them they will last and last. And if you use them for more than one child the savings are even greater.
- Cloth promotes proper treatment of waste – Despite instructions printed on disposable packages, few people deposit solid waste from their diapers in the toilet, leaving tons and tons of fecal waste in our landfills.
- Cloth diapers use fewer non-renewable resources to produce – Disposable diapers use a great deal more energy to produce, not to mention the runoff materials associated with their production. Consider the amount of energy required to manufacture and ship every single-use diaper your child will ever use.
- Cloth may be healthier – Disposable diapers can contain chemicals which have been linked to serious health conditions. Why take the chance?
- “Green” disposables are no match for cloth – There are a few disposable products on the market that use bio-degradable materials and are made without bleaches or chemicals. These products still contribute greatly to landfill and fossil fuel usage.
- You will know your choice is making a difference – When you choose cloth you know that your diapers aren’t going into landfill. Those who live in cities with Green Bin programs may say, “But our city composts disposable diapers!” We thought our city did too, until we found out that they were being put into landfills or incinerated. The truth is, most of us don’t know where our trash goes once it leaves the curb.
- Cloth is more fun - Cloth diapers and accessories come in a range of fantastic colours and designs that you and your baby will enjoy.
- Cloth will inspire you - Once you start using cloth diapers, you may be inspired to make other environmentally-motivated changes to your lifestyle. We found that diapers were just the tip of the iceberg, and discovered fantastic alternatives for household cleaning supplies, personal care and more.
- Cloth may save you money at the curb - As more and more municipalities initiate "pay per bag" structures you may find that you are saving a bundle in garbage disposal fees. In fact, families that use disposable diapers may find that they are the single largest contributor to their household waste!