Tuesday, 26 April 2011

E is for... Environment

Many of us are concerned about what we do and how it affects our environment and this comes up more often in my mind now that I have a child of my own. But what can I do to help out?

I have to admit that for the first few months we used disposable nappies. It seemed easy and hassle-free from the idea of trying to dry out cloth nappies in a tiny two bed flat with no tumble dryer and the idea of poo cleaning was not something I was keen on, I was happy to wipe and bin. This changed when I got the chance to review for Smartipants and Fill-Your-Pants.com.

You see the whole idea of poo in a cloth nappy being hard to clean and the troubles of cloth nappies is a thing of the past. Cloth nappies have changed since you and I were little and are very easy to use. When you have a newborn baby the soiling they will do won't be solid and thus you can just chuck the whole nappy (poo and all!) into the washing machine with the other nappies and wash them, no need to get your hands into the muck as it will come out easily in the machine. I was amazed by this when my son decided the first time we used the nappy to not only have a huge poo but for it to be a nasty wet one that got all over the place. I remember thinking the nappy would never be the same and throwing on a high wash. I was amazed it came out as if he had never soiled inside the nappy ever. Soft, fresh and didn't seem to have a single stain on it at all.

You see there are perks to cloth nappies that some of you may not realise.

Easy to Wash - Seriously, I thought these would be a pain. Now that we are onto more solid poo they don't stick so I just open the toilet and it'll... well.. roll off. I know that sounds disgusting but I'm trying to tell you how easy they really are and how you don't need to get your hands into the mess your sweetheart has left in your beloved cloth nappy. And you can put these in with your usual washing so you aren't adding an extra load and thus not wasting money.
Cheaper - Okay so a box of disposables may cost you £6.99 and sure there might be a great deal on at your local supermarket, but you are buying those boxes over and over again and that cost adds up. With cloth nappies you pay once and they will last well into potty training age and you can even save them for when you decide to have another, or perhaps a friend whose expecting.
Eco-Friendly - Disposables will end up in landfills, but your cloth nappies will be used again and again. There's no competition here, they are better for the environment compared to disposables and use no chemicals.
VAT Free - Disposable nappies are considered a luxury, whilst cloth nappies are not and thus you do not pay VAT on them. Isn't that great?! 
Kind to Skin - Would you enjoy wearing plastic underwear for hours? Cloth nappies are more breathable and gentle to the skin compared to disposables. You may also find your child doesn't suffer from nappy rash as much when using cloth nappies.

These are my top five reasons why cloth rocks. I could go on about the fact disposable nappies cost parents as much as £1,300 per child over the course of a few years and 80,000 lbs of plastic are used every year to make disposables.

 I'm certainly happy to have embraced cloth nappies. We still have disposables as a just-in-case, but replacing even just half of your daily disposable nappies a day will help save our environment.

Check out Go Real and remember it's Real Nappy Week on 16th til 22nd May 2011.

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Mel said...

Like some of the funky designs they now make! Much better than the rough cloth ones of our childhood. On the environmental side, I remember a lecture at uni that discussed how environmentally friendly cloth nappies are. To some extent the extra energy required to keep washing them can make them less environmental friendly. The conclusion seemed to be that disposable and cloth are both about the same. No idea where my references for that lecture are now though so don't quote me!

Helen said...

If you are putting them in a load of your usual washing and doing it on something like a 40C (some actually suggest 35C or lower) the energy amount is low and they come out great. Infact I have only used a 90C wash once and probably use a 60C on any of his clothes/nappies that have been very badly soiled, which isn't common these days.

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