Diapers and the Environment
When you chose to use cloth diapers, you are making a positive choice for both your baby and the earth.
Here are just a few of the environmental benefits of cloth:
- Depending on the fabric used, cloth diapers can be reused from 50-200 times before being recycled into rags.
- Cloth diapers can take less than 1 year to decompose.
- Using cloth means that baby's waste goes into the sewer system to be properly processed: not into a landfill where it can seep bacteria into our soil and ground water.
- On average, babies in cloth toilet train a year earlier - meaning less consumption!
What is the environmental impact of a year in "disposable" diapers?
||Used to make diapers for one baby for one year.|
Here are some other interesting numbers about "disposables":
- 250-500 years: That’s how long it takes a “disposable” diaper to decompose in a landfill
- 1-2 tons: That’s how much waste each child in "disposable" diapers sends to the landfill in two years.
- 4,000,000: How many diapers are tossed into landfills every day in Canada.
- 2.5%: Of the waste in our landfills is from "disposable" diapers.
The immeasurable environmental impacts:
- "Disposables" contain dioxin, a highly carcinogenic chemical. The dioxin leached into the earth in landfills will stay in the surrounding soil and water for many years. It accumulates in the tissues of animals and humans and can affect reproductive organs.
- The fecal matter in disposable diapers goes straight to the landfill, where it remains untreated. The viruses and bacteria contained in the feces seeps into the soil and the ground water. Landfills are not designed to handle human feces.
- "Disposable" diapers travel thousands of kilometers to get to London, ON. Each diaper travels from the factory (located in the USA or in CHINA) to get to the store - then travels from the store to the home - then travels from the home to the landfill. Doesn't this seem like a lot of fuel consumption for a single use item?
Making a Difference
The biggest contribution that Cheerful Cheeks makes is providing London parents with an alternative to disposable diapers. But Cheerful Cheeks doesn't stop there. We do everything possible to reduce our impact on the environment.
We reduce our carbon footprint by limiting the amount of distance each of our diapers and supplies have to travel. Our diapers, wipes and liners are in London, Ontario. We also optimize our routes so that a minimum of time is spent on the road.
We use an environmentally friendly washing process. This includes only 100% biodegradable detergents that contain no chlorine, dyes, fragrance, phosphates, brighteners or harsh chemicals. We have energy efficient machines that reduce the amount of water and energy used by more than half!
We limit the amount of paper used. When we do use paper, we make sure that it is made from recycled materials.
Also, we use washable cloth bags and gloves instead of single-use plastic items. All of our work surfaces are cleaned with environmentally safe sanitizers.