And this new, healthy, greener movement is not only evident in the food aisles. It can be seen all over the store. More and more packaging is made from recycled materials now. There are even toilet paper and paper towels made from recycled materials to help eliminate waste. Let's move on to the household cleaning aisles...More and more items have new, green options available, from non-toxic, chemical free all-purpose cleaners that are safe for pets and children, to laundry detergents that are free of dyes and fragrances.
Now let's think about the toy and baby section of the store. We are seeing more toys that are free of harmful lead paints, and baby bottles and accessories that are BPA free. There are also baby carriers and clothing available that are made of organically grown cotton. We as parents have never had so many wonderful options available to us to ensure our kids have the healthiest lives possible. We want the best for our children, as well as for the planet we will be leaving behind for them and for future generations.
Now let's talk about diapers. Yep, diapers. I am sure you have heard about cloth diapers...We all have. Now what mental image do you get when you think about cloth-diapering? Do you see old-fashioned rectangular prefold diapers with big, awkward diaper pins and squeaky, rubber pants? Do you have a negative impression of cloth?
For my first child, the now 11 year old that calls me ancient at the ripe old age of 29, I used only disposable diapers. And I thought nothing of it. It was what people did....They'd run to the store and buy some Pampers, or Luvs in my case to save a few dollars, and they'd diaper their babies and not think twice about it. My now 14 month old daughter wore disposables for the first 6 months of her life. I had honestly never even considered switching to cloth until we unexpectedly got pregnant again when Sophie was only 3 months old. Yes, my 2 youngest children are a mere 12 months apart! At this point, since the pregnancy was unplanned and we were not financially ready for another baby, we started looking into ways to save money. An old friend suggested I try cloth diapers. I have to admit, at first I was turned off to the idea. I had always assumed that cloth diapers were yucky, stinky, difficult to use, and just plain GROSS.
Until she came to visit from the Carolinas, and I saw cloth in action on her youngest 2 daughters. Everything I thought I knew about cloth was totally and completely inaccurate. Modern cloth is not a thing like the cloth our grandmas used! The diapers looked suspiciously like their disposable counterparts, and were just as easy to use. And they were so stinkin' cute! So many different patterns, colors, and fabrics to choose from....And no, her children were not smelly. As a matter of fact, I have found that babies in disposables smell more than babies in cloth, no doubt due to the myriad of chemicals found in disposable diapers. I also thought that babies in cloth were more prone to rashes. This, however, is not the case at all. My daughter gets less rashes in cloth than she did while she was wearing disposable diapers. If you want to know how disposable diapers can create bad rashes on babies due to all the crazy chemicals they contain, feel free to Google "dry-max".
So thanks to my friend, my love affair with all things Fluff began. I started researching them and learning all I could. I am by no means an expert. I am still learning. I have not tried all the cloth brands and styles on the market. But I have learned a lot about how cloth is far more beneficial to baby than disposables. It saves a TON of money, for one, especially when you have more than 1 child in diapers. Cloth is also far more eco-friendly. Did you know that disposable diapers can take up to 500 years to biodegrade? Just think about what that does to our landfills and waterways! And really, cloth is easy to use, more comfortable on baby's cute lil' butt, and is re-usable. Yes, there are a couple more loads of laundry per week, but once you get a routine, it's quite manageable.
These are just a few of the many, many reasons to choose cloth over disposables. So in today's world of living green and making more eco-friendly choices for our families, why aren't more parents choosing cloth? I think it's because they don't have all the facts, and believe all the cloth-diapering stereotypes, like I did until I was properly introduced. Or maybe they've had over-zealous cloth diapering parents get nasty because they weren't using cloth, and it turned them off to the idea. (Yes, this really happens!)
I think that if more parents were educated about the benefits and ease of cloth diapering, they might just switch like I did. That's why I am excited to tell you about a very cool project that is currently in the works to spread cloth diapering awareness as well as to discredit some of the cloth-diapering stereotypes. This project is called "The Dirties On Diapering." This is a beautiful and informative coffee-table sized book that uses photo journalism to show cloth in action. It would be an amazing way to spread Fluffy-Love! However, in order for this project to come to fruition, the creator is in need of sponsors and donations, and is even offering some great incentives for your support. Here is a video from the creator, as well as her own description of the project.
WHAT IS THIS PROJECT? My plan is to create a coffee-table style full-color book using photo-journalism to display the concerns I have about diapering today. The word about cloth diapering is slowly spreading, but often times I believe concepts like this (especially in the beginning) come across as some activist shoving information in people's faces. Pardon my harsh description, but it's the stereo-type given. I want the majority of this book to be images to SHOW people exactly what we are talking about. I will of course use words, facts, and share stories... but I want at least 3/4 of each page to be about an image. I want people to SEE the landfills. I want people to SEE the health concerns. I want people to SEE how easy cloth diapering is now. The world today is very visual, and I think this is the best way to get the word out. I have already received some attention from local newspapers, but I believe once this book is published it will receive even more attention -- one major goal is that it will make it on tv, the most common visual place to learn in the USA these days. Here is a link to the newspaper article published in the Portland Tribune about this project: http://www.portlandtribune.com/sustainable/story.php... Also, here is a link to my blog where I do much of my planning: http://thedirtiesondiapering.blogspot.com For more facts and information about disposable vs. cloth diapering, please visit the Real Diaper Association webpage! http://realdiaperassociation.org/
WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT? Many people looking at this project already know why cloth diapering itself is so important... but this project is important to me because most people that choose disposables do so because they don't even know there is a choice. Most people who use disposables still think cloth diapers are pre-folds and rubber pants! Or if they do know about today's cloth diapers they are looking at the upfront cost of just one kind of diaper! They aren't looking at the money they will save long term, or that there are cheaper cloth options out there. And yes, the environmental aspect is important to me, but for everyday people that's all they see people being concerned about. Parents often have no idea that they are putting toxic chemicals on their baby all day and every day for years! I want to use this book as a way to educate people. I've had people come to me about why am I using such a main-stream and more expensive publishing company? Because it's not just publishing the book that is important to me. I already know that local eco stores will be happy to sell this book. But I want this book to be in Barnes & Noble and on Amazon.com and in Borders book stores where ALL moms will see the issue! It's all about spreading the word!
WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU? Along with that fuzzy feel good feeling you get when you support something that could help change the world in a positive way, you will be rewarded with gifts for backing this project! Yay! You can pledge as little as $1, but the more you pledge the more you get back! You can find all of the rewards for this project along the right side of this page. It's just my little way of saying Thank You for your amazing support! Also! Calling all Green Mama Bloggers! Anyone who blogs about this project, please post a link to your blog in the comments section of this page! If the project is successful, I will make sure that any blogger supporting this project receives a copy for themself and a copy to give away! Sometimes spreading the word goes a long way, and I want to say thank you for helping!
A FREE WAY TO DONATE $1! Exciting news today!! Red Tricycle has gernerously offered to donate $1 to The Dirties on Diapering for each person that signs up for their FREE online newsletter! Here's the link: http://www.redtri.com/newsletter-signup and put "Dirties on Diapering" in the referred by box! That's it! Red Tricycle is your local playtime authority, offering fun things for you to see, make, eat and do with your kids in your neighborhood! It's a great website too with lots of great parenting tips and ideas! So sign up today and tell your friends! Thank you so much to Red Tricycle and everyone supporting this project!
BACKER GIVEAWAY! And if the rewards aren't enough... if my project is successful, I'm excited to give away a dozen cloth diapers to one random backer! Everyone who backs this project, no matter what dollar amound (even just $1!) will get a chance to win! The lucky winner can choose any brand and diapering system -- as long as it's cloth! I know you can get excited about that!
BOOK CONTENT: 1. History of Diapering .....a. Different Cultures .....b. Invention of the Disposable 2. Health Concerns .....a. Toxic Chemicals .....b. Baby's Health (Rash, Athsma, etc.) 3. Environmental Concerns .....a. Landfills .....b. Water 4. Economical Impact .....a. Cost Comparisons .....b. Impact on the Business World 5. Cloth Diapering Today .....a. Types .....b. Washing .....c. Hospitals & Daycares .....d. Traveling Tips 6. Cloth Stories (Moms, Companies, Activists, Organizations)
WHERE WILL YOUR MONEY GO? 1. Publisher Costs 2. Kickstarter -- 5% 3. Amazon Credit Card Processing Fees -- %2.5 + 0.30/transaction 4. Backer Rewards 5. Photo-Journalism: .....Travel to Hospitals, Landfills, Disposable Companies, Cloth Companies, & Moms .....Supplies & Equipment
Total Estimated Cost: $6,000-$7,000 on a tight budget.
The last two times my funding goal was $8,000 but I'm determined to do this even if I end up paying into it myself too! So I'm setting the funding goal at the bare minimum this time - $6,000. Hopefully since Kickstarter is an all of nothing site, we can make it this time! They do allow funding to continue and go over if the funding is met before the 90 days, so maybe we'll even go above and beyond this time! Thank you again everyone for your amazing support!
MY CREDENTIALS: I'm a mom of 2 little ones in diapers -- I've used both disposables and cloth before, but am now proudly 100% cloth! I'm a portrait photographer in the beautiful city of Portland, Oregon. I specialize in children, but also do families, HS seniors, pregnancies, couples, weddings, parties, events, art, and more (sugarsnapphoto.com)! Before I had my own children, I worked as a writer and producer at local television stations here in Oregon. I've worked in both the Portland and Eugene news markets. I wrote mostly local news stories and organized content of the newscast, deciding what was in and what was out! I have been doing photography since high school, and took many college courses in photography, film, and journalism.
***Please Note*** This project's intent is to have a positive impact and I will not support speaking negatively of any specific company. This is an opportunity for ALL green companies, no matter how perfect, to come together and help make a change. Baby steps. Baby steps.
So as you can see, this is a wonderful project that will help spread awareness about cloth diapering, and may even dis-spell some misconceptions you may have about fluff. For more information about this project, or to donate, please visit one of the above links. And also, if you would be so kind, please "like" this post on Facebook and tweet with the link to my post to spread the word! In a world where so many wonderful, healthy options are available for our babies, why not give cloth a shot? I am glad I did!