I have a confession to make: so far, my baby has been toxic for the environment. She’s been wearing conventional, single-use diapers that are ending up in a landfill somewhere (they may be from Whole Foods, but I know that doesn’t make a difference).
I know, I know, shame on me! I DO feel ashamed, actually, to know that I am contributing to the solid-waste nightmare that is “disposable” diapers. WHY did I make such a decision, especially when I own 3 Bum Genius reusable cloth diapers? Three reasons, actually.
- I can’t figure out how the heck to use the Bum Genius diapers, as there aren’t any diagrams on the box.
- I can’t figure out what to do with the diaper once it’s been soiled…I mean, it can’t go directly into the washer, right? I may not have enough other clothes to wash with it right away, and it can’t just sit in there, soaked in poop and pee, can it?
- I hate to touch poop! Even my own baby’s poop. Everyone told me I wouldn’t mind when I had my own baby, and I believed them. Well, it’s not true – I MIND! Every time I open up that diaper to see that she’s pooped, I get a mini-panic attack and use up 17 wipes (or so) just so I don’t get it on my fingers. What does me not wanting to touch poop have to do with using cloth diapers, you say? Nothing, I know. I know that in theory, whether it’s cloth or disposable, you are supposed to put solid poopies in the toilet and flush them. But with a disposable diaper, you get this illusion that you can just wrap up the poopie diaper and put it in the trash, and no one will know any better. Except the environment. And that’s what exactly what I do. Ugh, you say, how can you call yourself a Holistic Mama? I couldn’t agree more.
So, why haven’t I signed up for a cloth diapering service? Actually, there are a few mental hurdles I have there as well. For one thing, they pick up once a week – so where do the dirty diapers sit until then? In a vat of hydrogen peroxide? That doesn’t seem very environmentally friendly to me. For another, I’ve read that cloth diapering services launder their diapers to such a high standard that they use an average of 13 water changes per load. That seems like a lot of water! Is that good for the environment?
So there I am at the BABI Fair on Saturday, and I run across Mark Siminoff from EarthBaby. EarthBaby is based in the town where I live, and their mission is to eliminate disposable diapers and wipes from landfills altogether by composting all of their diapers. From what I can tell, how it works is, you buy all your diapers and wipes from them (they have to control what goes into their composting process). You then put all the used diapers and wipes in a compostable bio-bag, and they pick it up off your doorstep once a week. It costs just under $30 a month (plus the cost of the diapers and wipes, of course). And finally, you can leave the poopie in the diaper…it just goes into the compost and turns into topsoil like all the rest of it. Ha! I was sold – and mostly for the last reason. So I signed up on the spot and will be diverting my first load of poopie diapers from the landfill next week. Yay, no more guilt!