Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Going Green (or at least trying)

I haven't blogged much lately, mostly because it's too crazy around here what with two kids to keep track of, huge piles of laundry to wash, floors to vacuum, tables to dust, and bathrooms to clean. With all of that, who has time to sit down and blog? As I type, Shepherd is conked out, and Colette is content in her swing, allowing me a few moments to myself.

A few weeks back, after changing my 12th diaper for the day (I'm only counting one child here, and yes, this was before 5 pm) and tried to jam it into the overflowing Diaper Champ, I stopped a moment to think. This was the second bag of diapers that we'd filled that week (tall kitchen bags, mind you) for only one kid. I thought of those diapers headed off to our landfill only to sit there for 500+ years and never decompose. I'd thought about it before, but had been able to justify such waste (or at least ignore it) based upon convenience and lack of resources to justify an upfront purchase of cloth diapers. I'd not really thought of the total cost for one child, much less two. That evening, I sat down and did some research and figured we could save a TON of money by switching to cloth full time. Especially switching for both kids. Granted, it required a large initial investment, but within 5 months, the cloth diapers would pay for themselves.

Not only would we save money, but we'd be able to reduce our carbon footprint and help do our little, meager part in saving the environment. We'd already switched our lightbulbs out for new, energy efficient ones, as well as to quit using warm or hot water for our laundry to cut back our power bill, so this was the logical next step. I went ahead and purchased several pocket diapers and some prefolds with covers. I figure we'll use the prefolds at home during the day, and pockets for outings and for overnight.

Yesterday, I received my first batch of diapers in the mail. Eager to try them out, I washed and dried them, and slapped them on my kids bottoms. Shepherd looked at me, puzzled as to this glorious softness on his bum. He kept grabbing his diaper, and smiling at me. Colette could care less for what i could tell (I mean, come on, she's a baby!). So far, so good... Shepherd made it overnight in one of the pocket diapers without a leak (and he's a heavy wetter at night). Colette had a poopy diaper that was completely contained by her diaper. What remains to be seen is how Shepherd's diaper holds up to his blowouts. I'm still waiting on the prefolds and covers to come in, so I'm doing laundry like mad to keep them in the cloth diapers, and hang drying them to save on energy in the meantime. Any of you have experience in cloth diapering? Tips? Favorite brands? Washing routine?

Anywho, I've probably spent way too much energy and time researching diapers and obsessing over them (just ask Forrest), but now that they are here, I can breathe out a sigh of relief, and just sit back and smile as I watch my lil' punkin' butt run around like this (I'll get a picture of Colette up as soon as she'll let me take one of her without her screaming in the picture):


Liza said...

We cloth diaper at night and most of the time on weekends. Here are my two thoughts:

1) Baking Soda! Dump some in the wash with the diapers -- it helps a ton with the smell. Vinegar also helps, but I think the baking soda is better.

2) Inserts. I usually use a combination of hemp prefold and microfiber pad as the inserts for the pockets.

They seem designed to evenly distribute the absorbant material throughout the diaper, which meant Noah was having leaks up front while the hemp wasn't even damp in the back.

Re-folding them so that I have 3 layers in the target area and only one through the back of the diaper has helped a ton!

Rebecca said...

visit www.kerflop.com she and her husband have their own business. she seems adorable!

Isabel said...

Wow....this is very cool. I look forward to hearing more about your thoughts on changing to cloth!

(I just read about this over at Frema's blog also. So it must be on the mind of a lot of people.)

seattlebags said...

Wow! I just switched to cloth (trying Fuzzi Bunz and hopefully soon bumGenius) and it kinda worked out like your story. Thinking about doing my part to be green, then obsessing (seriously), checking, rechecking, bidding on ebay, rebidding on ebay, finally Andrew just said BUY THEM! and I did! I've been Cding for about a week so I have no tips yet. I need many more diapers to have a good stash!

Sorry this was a non-helpful comment, I just thought I'd tell you that I am going through the same thing!

indogunters said...

hey mama!
justin told andy that you all switched to cloth! awesome! we've been pleased using cloth with ez and are stoked to not have to buy diapers for the next one...who will probably be here in feb!!! yep, preggo, again!

we've even used cloth on road trips and living intl so it's totally doable. we like prefolds and prowrap covers. did you buy some snappi's b/c you don't need safety pins, you know. it's good ot buy about 3 in case you one gets lost or breaks though they are pretty sturdy. ez uses the potty a lot these days but at night, she's still in dipes.