- According to a 2010 study, one third of U.S. mothers are cutting back on basic necessities (such as food, utilities, and childcare) to buy diapers for their children.
- Approximately 90% of Americans use single-use plastic diapers, generating 7.6 billion pounds of garbage each year. This is enough waste to fill Yankee Stadium 15 times over.
- In the two minutes it will take you to read this post, another 106,000 throwaway diapers will enter landfills in the U.S. where they will sit for at least 500 years before decomposing. (William Shakespeare’s diapers would still be around – if he wore plastic.)
Reusable cloth diapers provide a solution to all of these problems, but their existence has been obscured by the billions of advertising dollars spent by Big Disposables over the last generation to gain a stranglehold on the market. Awareness of, and knowledge about, cloth diapers has largely been lost – even though reusable cloth diapers make less impact on the environment, are safer for babies, and cost less than their petroleum-based, chemical-filled, single-use throwaway counterparts.
As I wrote in a previous post here, if you use cloth diapers, you are in a position to empower other parents to find and use cloth diapers. How? Participate in International Real Diaper Week beginning 4/16/12. Each day is designed to focus on a different aspect of cloth diaper advocacy and education, beginning with efforts to reach more parents with the message about cloth diapers.
● Organize a flash meetup at a park or cafe and with your babies’ diapers (or wool) on display.
● Invite a friend to the Great Cloth Diaper Change on Saturday, 4/21, and let them borrow a cloth diaper (or three!) to use.
● Post on social media inviting friends to ask you about cloth diapers or the Great Cloth Diaper Change (#gcdc2012).
● Host a Cloth Diaper 101 class with a local mom’s group, at a hospital, or birth center.
● Write to a local TV station or newspaper asking them to feature cloth diapers and/or the Great Cloth Diaper Change.
Heather McNamara is the Executive Director of the Real Diaper Association, an accredited leader of the San Diego Real Diaper Circle, and an organizer of the Great Cloth Diaper Change. The mother of two (previously cloth diapered) boys, she is relishing the momentary quiet while they spend the morning exploring the river.
You can find her on Twitter at @RDAHeatherMc
About The Great Cloth Diaper Change Ambassadors
We are a team of writers who are all part of The Great Cloth Diaper Change, an international initiative organized with the help of the nonprofit Real Diaper Association. The event is designed to show the world that cloth diapers are a real option for today’s families. The Great Cloth Diaper Change is an exciting Guinness World Record breaking event, and in 2011, more than 5,000 babies were changed simultaneously. For more information visit www.GreatClothDiaperChange.com.