Thursday, January 26, 2012

How 'Crunchy' Am I?

For those of you who don't know what a crunchy person is, it's another word people use in  place of the term 'granola'. Crunchy people generally prefer green or natural products. They alter their lifestyles usually for environmental reasons. I am not a very crunchy person, but the more I learn about natural products and ways to help the environment while saving money for our family, the crunchier I get. 
One of the main things that our family does to help the environment and save money is cloth diapering. When I first told people I was switching from sposies to cloth, I got a huge spectrum of reactions from all kinds of people. One of my favorites was, "What the heck are you going to do with the poop?" Of course, that included a very disgusted face as the person imagined me wrestling a poopy diaper. I would respond with, "It goes in the toilet, just like if you were potty training a toddler and she had an accident. You shake it off and rinse." By the way, did you guys know you're supposed to dump poo out of sposies before you throw them away? I'm pretty sure no one does that. 
I would also get comments like, "Won't that make your water bill go up? So you wouldn't really be saving money, right?" Well, yes. My water bill did go up. It went up by about $2.00. If you add in the cost of detergent and baby wipes, I spend about $5-$6/month diapering my children. Middle A is potty trained, but she still wears a diaper to bed, so she wears 7 a week. Little A wears the rest. I think the price I pay is definitely favorable, as opposed to $10/pack for sposies. 
Knowing that I am keeping nasty sposies out of landfills makes me feel good about the choice that I have made. It takes a sposie somewhere between 250-500 years to decompose. I have read varying reports on this, but even if 250 is correct....imagine how many diapers ONE child goes through and how long it would take for just that ONE child's diapers to decompose. Now multiply that by about a billion. Yeah. That is one very large number. 
Here is a website for your reading pleasure: Why Choose Cloth Diapers?
A lot of people see the initial investment number for cloth diapers and it scares them. There are so many options out there, from cheap to very expensive. I have seen cloth diapers for as low as $5 and I have seen some custom made sell for $250. Ridiculous, I know. The bottom line is, if you want to look into cloth diapering for your family, do your research first. It IS affordable! Even if you didn't go for the cheapest diapers out there, an investment of $300 is still less than what you'll spend from your child's birth to potty training. Remember, as your child grows, there are less diapers in each package as the size increases. They still cost the same though! You can buy cloth diapers that will fit from newborn all the way up to about 35lbs! Middle A and Little A share diapers. Middle A will be 2 next month and weighs close to 30lbs. Little A is almost 11 weeks old and weighs just under 14lbs. Talk about a money saver! 
One of the ways we keep the cost of cloth diapers down at our house is by making them. I ordered some cheap pocket-style diapers to start with. I took a good look at them and decided I could make them myself. It's actually relatively easy to do. Here are a few examples of what I've made:

The one on the right in this photo is actually a diaper cover. It is used over prefold diapers. Those are the ones our parents used on us. I am about to make some of those homemade as well. I'll post a tutorial as soon as I'm finished. If anyone needs to be pointed in the direction of more information on the different types of cloth diapering, I will be more than happy to answer questions to the best of my knowledge.


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