No more disposable diapers!

By: Rob Colbourn

The disposable diaper is one of the greatest manufacturing and marketing triumphs of modern history. “Huggies” have rendered cloth diapers almost obsolete, because they so are frighteningly convenient even a new father can change them, and they are so inexpensive it seems ridiculous to imagine washing, drying, and dealing with cloth diapers. They have only one drawback: They ravage the environment. The manufacturing process dumps literally millions of gallons of bleach and industrial chemicals into the water supply while it uses millions of kilowatts of electric energy produced from burning fossil fuels or running antiquated nuclear reactors. Few common consumer products inflict as much harm on the environment as disposable diapers do.

Disposable diapers will outlast us by about 10,000 years

The plastic coating on junior’s disposable diapers is wonderfully, miraculously, undeniably and non-negotiably leak-proof. Nary a drop escapes those industrial strength nappies. Awesome. And awesomely menacing, because that miracle of modern petro-chemistry will not degrade in Nature for approximately 10,000 years…if then. Similarly, the coating applied to disposable diapers’ paper-fiber interiors to make them extra absorbent and super sanitary ironically make them extra resistant to the natural bacteria that would degrade them. If you had stomach enough for the task, you could search your local trash dump and discover hundreds of thousands of wadded-up and very soggy disposable diapers buried twenty feet deep under layers of trash but perfectly preserved in the same condition as when they went into the diaper pail. The children who wore those nappies now attend Cambridge and Oxford or work for Rupert Murdoch.

The history of disposable diapers tells all

An Indiana housewife invented the first disposable diapers in the early 1950s, and Kimberly-Clark gobbled-up the rights to her design about two seconds after the U.S. Patent Office granted her a patent. Among a host of new-fangled disposable products, disposable diapers contributed substantially to post-war economic recovery and industrial re-tooling in the United States. During World War II, women had so thoroughly taken over advanced manufacturing jobs that returning veterans could not find gainful employment. The Fortune 500 corporations mounted initiatives to invent and market disposable products as a way of generating and sustaining demand for consumer products so that they could create jobs for the brave men who rescued the world from the Nazi menace. The more chemical magic and plastic content the better, because “the boys” needed work. The elaborate bleaching, filtering, and extracting process for making disposable diapers still keeps thousands of manufacturing workers employed; but those disposable diapers are filling-up landfills at an alarming rate.

Swaddle baby’s precious bottom in hemp

Following through on your decision to abjure disposable diapers, choose hemp nappies instead. Hemp grows plentifully without chemical fertilizers or pesticides, and manufacturing hemp diapers requires no extreme chemical processing, using very little energy. Virtually indestructible, hemp diapers grow softer and more comfortable with repeated wear and washing; and they wash nicely in cold water with very little detergent. Best of all, innovative designers have created stylish “pockets” that render hemp diapers as leakproof as their disposable equivalents while making great fashion statements.
When you switch from disposable diapers to hemp, both your child and Mother Earth will, in their ways, express their profound and eternal gratitude.

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Bamboo Baby offer a range of organic baby clothing for babies and kids, including knitted jumpers for girls.

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