One of the toughest things about change is getting out of a rut. We get used to doing things one way and it is hard to change….. But when you start something new you have a great opportunity to make an informed choice. As the filming of NIM began, I learned that I was pregnant with my first child.
One thing I never would have done had it not been for the no impact year has to do with number 2 – yes, I’m talking about poop. What I want to talk about is diapering. What were we going to use for those thousands of diaper changes that were to come?
First of all, something I learned, which I didn’t know, and it seems few people know, is that it says on the directions of every disposable box of diapers from pampers to 7th generation that you are supposed to dispose of the solid waste into the toilet prior to throwing the diaper away. How it is that no one seems to know this? But the amazing news is that while
people may think it gross, it is much less gross than having poop in your garbage which tends to get smelly, fast. And we aren’t putting toxic human waste in the landfill. So this is a no brainer that anyone can do. What seems to be the motivating factor for non environmentally minded parents to modify their behavior is the possibility of not having stinky garbage. It seems much less gross to flush poop down the toilet than to put in the garbage, but next time you think twice, try taking a dump in the garbage can.
We used cloth diapers the first year of my son’s life – something we never would have done had we not been working on this movie. Most people didn’t get the memo, because disposable diaper companies don’t want you to, but cloth or reusable diapers are not what they used to be – e.g. loose-fitting tan cloths that leak, affixed to your infant with huge pins – those are a thing of the distant past. I was amazed to discover that diapers nowadays are cute and very effective. I was very nervous about how it would all work, so I did a lot of research and spoke to a lot of people prior to the birth of our son.
The system that worked for us was to use a fabulous looking diaper called bum genius and flushable but reusable Swedish insert that you put in the toilet if there was number two and put in the diaper pail for washing if there was only pee. This way, the diapers in the pail didn’t have poop on them. We washed them at least once every two days. They say you’re supposed to wash them twice, but we didn’t do that…
I learned that Americans put approximately 50 million disposable diapers a year in the landfill. We probably would have used 2000 disposable diapers in the first year of our son’s life. It’s a small step, but what more can we ask, then for each of us to do what we can? If any one is considering using good ole ‘cloth’ diapers and has any questions, I’m more than happy to share info.