Dagny was in a rush these past few days. In a rush to get to 2000 — diapers that is. You see, she’s been battling a tummy-something and has been on the diarrhea bandwagon for a few days (“When you’re sliding into first and you feel something burst…….”)
So, naturally, there was much rejoicing a few minutes ago as we uncorked this vintage model to find yet another poopy mess. Dagny was quick to reach down in an attempt to examine her work — an attempt thwarted by goalie skills and some handi-wipes.
That’s a Lot of Landfill
2000 diapers in 7 months. That would normally be a lot of landfill (thank goodness for cloth and the cleaning service!). Let’s see….about 60 diapers _fills_ a trash container that measures 12″ x 15″ x 24″ (2.5 cu. ft). Since cloth is a little bulkier, we’ll round up and say that it takes 100 disposables to fill that container. That means that in the last 7 months we would have generated more than 50 cubic feet of plastic non-degrading human-waste coated silicate-filled landfill wrapped in non-degradable plastic trashbags. The average disposable trained kid (those that we have seen recently) seems to be in diapers for 3-4 years — that’s something like 300 cubic feet per child. For reference, fill your living room with a foot deep of diapers and you get about 300 cubic feet.
Soapbox and Diaper Pails
But that’s actually not why I like the cloth diapers. Environmental pats on the back side, after 7 months of heavy use, I can still soapbox (again) for a few bullet points on the benefits of cloth diapers:
- Dagny can tell when she’s wet and she doesn’t like it one bit! Tight feedback loops are key to training.
- We can tell when Dagny is wet, which means we change her more promptly. As a result, we see little or no diaper rash.
- Cleanup is easy, and we experience very few blowouts (compared to the few times we’ve resorted to disposables). Using the remaining clean part of the cloth for initial wipe down also significantly reduces the number of wipes we need to use.
- Smell is not a problem, either.
- The cloth service now also takes compostable diapers and compostable wipes in the same container. This simplifies things whenever we need to resort to the compostable diapers for whatever reason.
- In the end, I’m selfish and want to change as few diapers as possible. There’s the belief (true or not, we’ll see) that cloth diapered babies ‘train out’ on average 1 year faster.
Here’s hoping that we’ll be “out” before we hit 5000!