Cheeky Things -- The Deal with Cloth Diapers
Hey guys! My name is [Momma Cheeks], and I was invited by Dr. Fallon to write a guest blog post for her super awesome business, Lumos Chiropractic. So I took the invitation, and here I am – posting!
I own Cheeky Things: a very new, very small business advocating for healthy babies and a healthy planet. My specific focus is convincing moms and dads to switch to cloth diapers. The business has evolved from an online retail store, to strictly cloth diaper services, and now more toward cloth diaper “consulting.”
(What is a cloth diaper consultant?)
A cloth diaper consultant, as I use the description, is someone who meets with moms and dads interested in cloth diapers (through a diaper date), and then figures out how to incorporate cloth diapers into their lifestyle: would this mom (or dad) benefit from the service, can s/he afford the service, would s/he benefit more if I built her (and/or him) a personalized diaper stash, how many diapers would s/he need in that diaper stash to meet her (and/or his) washing expectations, etc. etc. etc.
Basically, I take the overwhelming “shit” out of the cloth diaper journey (and sometimes, through the service, I’m quite literally taking away the poo) so moms and dads can enjoy their baby time, with an entirely clean environmental conscience.
The Whole Thing is Trash!
I did a little research, and it turns out that the waste babies put into the landfill, just with their diapers, averages out to be the same weight as vehicles – you know, those lunky things you trust with your family’s life to get from point A to point B?
Here’s the breakdown:
One baby’s disposable diapers: the weight of five motorcycles. Two babies’ disposable diapers: the weight of one mid-size sedan. Three babies’ disposable diapers: the weight of one minivan. Every cloth diaper: weightless.
Okay, so I might have stolen the old MasterCard commercial to get this point across, but it works, doesn’t it?
So, while you’re expanding your car to fit your growing family, you are (in a way) multiplying that sucker by two – one you’re driving around, the other you’re just...trashing.
The “Convenience” Generation
Our generation has gotten so used to a type of “if we don’t see it, it doesn’t exist” mentality; an, “it’s not my problem, they’ll have to figure it out themselves” mentality; an, “but this way is so much easier!” mentality.
I’ve met many people who want to go “all natural” for their babies, and want to have “all natural births,” and they shop the organic line at the grocery store, and they make sure their baby breastfeeds for as long as possible, and they ween their baby with avocados and all things healthy, and they go to a chiropractor (like my girl Fallon.. wink, wink, nudge, nudge)…
… and then they slap a disposable diaper on the poor thing, and they don’t think twice about it, because cloth diapers are “old fashioned” and “gross” and “crunchy.”
I can’t fathom these mindsets, guys. These aren’t some STRANGERS we’re talking about – these are our CHILDREN, and we’re talking about our children’s FUTURE. We sacrifice all of our time, our energy, our sleep, our social life, our money, our pre-baby aspirations, etc. to make sure we raise good children who will grow up and be good adults, don’t we?
I know I do. I spend my days – with all control I like to think I have in this world – making sure that Cheeky, Jr.’s future is sealed with hope and positivity and everything good.
So why won’t you wake up and smell the garbage?! This problem is GROWING, you know. Mother Nature is being suffocated by trash, and as parents we play a BIG role in reversing the side effects. If we don’t make a change now, then we are failing the very kids we’re raising to live a life better than our own. We are failing them by adding another worry in this incredibly difficult world – a worry we don’t care to eliminate, because it “isn’t our problem.”
Ok, so where’s the proof?
The Environmental Protection Agency claims that disposable diapers make up 3.4 MILLION TONS of waste EACH YEAR.
Disposable diapers are estimated to last 250-500 years in landfills before they fully decompose (taken from the Real Diaper Association website).
And then there’s the Chemicals…
Oh where, oh where, have the chemicals gone? Oh where, oh where could they beeeeeee?
Sure, you can argue that reusable diapers waste our water supply, right? Maybe.
(If you don’t use a cloth diaper service with a system that uses less water on the regular than at-home cleaning routines; or if you don’t think about how water can be recycled)
(like, I can see how this is a legitimate debate, regardless of how biased I am)
But can you really argue about chemicals in disposable diapers?
I guess you could, but it would be a poor argument, because chemicals festering all up in those disposable diapers is an actual fact.
Here’s a few chemicals I’ve gathered from some light research:
(excuse me while I copy and paste pieces from someone else’s article…)
Dioxins: “According to the World Health Organization, exposure to dioxins may cause skin reactions and altered liver function, as well as impairments to the immune system, nervous system, endocrine system and reproductive functions” (also known to cause CANCER and is super harmful for newborns, but that’s fine, right?)
Sodium Polyacrylate (that jelly substance in your ‘sposies): “… composed of cellulose processed from trees that is mixed with crystals of polyacrylate” (and is also responsible for, like, a butt-load of deforestation, as you might be able to take from the whole “processed from trees” bit). And then - “This chemical was removed from tampons due to toxic shock syndrome concerns. As it has only been used in diapers for the last two decades, there is not yet research on the long-term health effects of sodium polyacrylate on babies” (oh, and btw, they use this substance in the “environmental” disposables, too).
TBT (Tributyl-tin): “TBT is a polluting chemical that does not degrade but remains in the environment and in our food chain” (Okay, so that’s where our chemicals have gone, that’s where they could be... into our food chain, forever and ever, amen).
VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds): “According to the EPA, VOCs can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, damage to the liver, kidney and central nervous system. Some VOCs are even suspected of causing cancer in humans (EPA.gov)” (Enough said).
And while there are more, like dyes and fragrances, that trigger a bunch of different reactions in new babes, I will stop here – because, oh my gods, holy moly, that is a lot to take in.
The scariest part isn’t always what we know, either – it’s what the collective “they” won’t tell us. Some manufacturers refuse to have full transparency with their customers about what’s exactly in their diapers (how that’s even LAWFUL is beyond me…).
Are you Convinced Yet?
Cloth diapers are the cats meow, they are the shit that don’t stank (although they really do stink.. baby poops are so awful, my goodness gross), and they are the start to fixing a much, much bigger issue.
Be the change