Saturday, July 10, 2010

Will the oil spill cause more cloth diaper converts?

Just posted to the Knickernappies Blog, thought I'd share it here too!

As the days continue to fly by and the oil continues to gush from the BP oil well, it seems that the decisions we need to make are becoming all too clear.  We're dependent on oil in so many ways we cannot even fathom.  Can we make a difference by making different choices?

Over the last ten years or so there's been a rise in the "green movement," a rise in the amount of interest in living more eco-friendly lifestyles, making greener choices and attempting to create less waste as we go through life.  Not everyone has jumped on board, many saw it as a trend and couldn't see the big picture, how the choices we make day to day can affect our children and our children's children for years to come.

Where do cloth diapers fit in?  To many cloth diapering may seem like just a small step towards going green, after all it does still require the use of additional energy and water.  Some claim that cloth diapers and disposables each cancel out the benefits and disadvantages of each other and that one is not a clear choice over the other.  But in reality, especially today's reality, using cloth diapers can make a huge difference.

According to a recent Huffington Post article, Eco Etiquette 
"Nearly 3.5 billion gallons of oil are used to produce the 18 billion throwaway diapers that Americans toss each year. To put that in perspective, that's more than the amount of crude we import annually from Kuwait."

What's even more shocking?  With these statistics disposable companies are stepping it up in order to try and keep families from considering cloth diapers.  Now they've come out with designer prints for babies to poop in.  The concept seems so absurd it's almost hard to imagine anyone buying them but they will I am sure.  They may as well just go over to the garbage can and throw their money in it because that's essentially what they'll be doing.

It is certainly depressing, the situation we've gotten ourselves into with this devastating oil spill, but we've made our bed and now we've got to lay in it.  There doesn't seem to be any end in site to this catastrophy and if you're anything like me then you feel absolutely helpless.

So what are your thoughts?  Do you think that this crisis will be a wake-up call to more families reminding them that there's no change too small, that even things like reusable baby diapers can make a great difference in the grand scheme of things?  Has your family considered making any additional lifestyle changes because of the oil spill?  We'd love for you to share your thoughts.

Julia Clark, Earth Angels Diaper Co.


Anonymous said...

You're so right! I can't help but notice that news surrounding the BP oil spill is making headlines every single day. Although the situation is proving to be more and more devastating; what's more upsetting is that people aren't stepping up and making choices to make a difference.

Americans are selfishly expecting the government to clean the "mess" up, not realizing that it may take several months after a clean up before we see a slight difference in anything that has been affected by the spill.

In reality, cloth diapers are just not convenient enough for many parents. Many see disposables as the ultimate convenience and deny the fact that they are throwing money in the trash with each diaper change! These same parents aren't thinking about how their disposables are manufactured or the diapers ingredients in detail.

As a cloth diapering mom, I feel that it's essential to educate those around me. I also feel that it's the duty of other "greenish" moms to educate those around them.

In my opinion, unless we are doing our very best to educate others - we can't expect any difference in their lifestyle.

I honestly do not think that the BP oil spill will serve as a wake-up call, nor do I see Americans changing their ways until there is no other choice. Sadly, by that time, I fear it will be too late to save our environment.

My husband and I are not the uber green parents and role models that we would like to be, but we are working towards that by educating ourselves and taking small steps to becoming eco-friendly citizens.

- Lorie Folk



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