As many of you read last month, I am working as a blogger ambassador for the Huggies® Every Little Bottom Program in 2011. Well, I’m baaaaaack with some information that I find to be very pertinent. While gearing up to work with the program, the very first thing that came to my mind in regards to diaper donations was, “Why not cloth diapers?” You know me, little Miss Earth Day Organic over here…I mean, cloth diapering seems to be a good solution, so I wasn’t surprised at all when your comments on my last post were essentially asking the same question. (Great minds, people!!)
I’d love to address this situation from a personal standpoint first. For me, I tend to judge situations from my own lifestyle’s perspective, and sometimes it’s difficult for me to imagine life in someone else’s shoes. Although I have a washer and dryer, many do not. Although I have a roof over my head, many do not. Although I have someone who helps watch my children a couple of days during the week at my home, many rely on daycares that require a stack of disposable diapers to accompany their children every morning. These scenarios aren’t really conducive to using cloth diapers, and remember, most diaper banks are accepting donations for people whose lives are affected by one or all of these scenarios.
I have to give kudos to Calee, who left this comment on my previous post and really hit the nail on the head. (By the way, Calee’s husband is a local director for an organization that provides food and services to homeless families living in Orange County, so this is a subject that she witnesses firsthand.)
Cloth diapers are substantially less expensive in the long haul, but for many living in poverty, it’s nearly impossible to buy a large or mega pack of disposable diapers (thus reducing the per diaper cost) much less shell out $5-20 for 1 cloth diaper. Also, there is a time and laundry cost– if you live in a home or apartment with a washing machine, cloth diapers are an extra task, but not a huge deal. If you are working 2 jobs and still living below the poverty line in a weekly motel, it simply isn’t feasible. Forget about it if all your possessions are in a duffel bag and you’re bouncing between shelters every night. It would be fantastic to help people move into cloth diapering, unfortunately, like so many issues those living below the poverty line face, this one isn’t easily solved.
I definitely had an “ahhh, I GET IT” moment after reading that. Thanks, Calee, for your great insight.
So, let’s briefly try to answer some of these questions.
Aren’t cloth diapers a better solution for mothers because they can just wash and reuse?
- For many mothers struggling with diaper need, cloth diapers aren’t a realistic option: many daycare facilities will not admit children without a day’s supply of clean disposable diapers – cloth diapers are often not accepted.
- Many Laundromat facilities will not allow mothers to wash diapers for sanitary reasons.
Aren’t cloth diapers a more environmentally-friendly solution?
- There are many variables that exist in this situation – one example is that if cloth diapers are washed in hot/warm water and then dried, this could have a carbon footprint similar to a disposable diaper. Diapers are an essential need for babies, so Kimberly-Clark works hard to ensure waste is eliminated wherever possible throughout the products’ lifecycle – from sourcing to disposal in an effort to reduce Huggies diapers’ impact on the environment. (By the way, you can read more about Kimberly-Clark’s sustainability efforts here.)
I’m pretty sure this is one of those subjects that we all could go round and round and ROUND, but the one thing that I always come back to is that the Huggies® Every Little Bottom Program is working to meet the needs of families with diaper need NOW. And that is super cool, my friends.
Remember, here are some ways YOU can help meet the needs of these families right now. Learn more about how you can become involved in your community at EveryLittleBottom.com. Find out where you can donate diapers locally, attend a diaper drive event or even host your own diaper drive.
Disclosure: I have partnered with the Huggies® brand to help promote Huggies® Every Little Bottom program. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program, which includes writing about my family’s own experiences from my son/daughter’s point of view, and/or their experiences with diapers. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.