It is so easy these days to use cloth diapers. We have antiquated visions of women half a century ago slopping soaking diapers in pails or worrying about sticking squirming babies with pins. Wake up – this is a new world. There are diapering “systems” to choose from, involving easy velcro pants with environmentally friendly cloth diapers using flushable liners (no muss, just flush).
There have been some complaints as to the energy costs of all this washing offsetting its environmentally friendly aspects. In 2006, Hydro Quebec came up with costs for home laundering: $.26 (cold water), $.41(warm), $.61 (hot) which would add up to $1.04, $1.64 or $2.44 per week based on four loads a week, versus about $20 for single use paper diapers. For two and half years, electric bills would only be increased by about $317.
Compare that to the cost of throw-away diapers at between $2,500 and $3,000 per child. They still make up the third largest source of solid waste in landfills; this will only increase significantly as the aging adult population begins to rely on incontinence products.
Really, it takes less time to dump a load of cloth diapers into the washing machine and transfer them to the dryer than it takes to get you and the kids dressed and into the car for a trip to the store when you run out of paper ones. However, there is a correct way to approach the cleaning of the diapers. First, it is important to have a higher energy efficient washing machine. Secondly, if you spin the diapers a second time, you reduce your drying time by about 25%. It’s also advisable to use biodegradable detergents and wash only every three days.
There are a few places in my Smart Shopping Montreal book to buy cloth diapers (you could do a search on this blog to find the others) but coming up, Le Baby Shop, a new location on the West Island, is offering to teach you how to use cloth diapers. You must call or e-mail to register.
Location: Plaza Pointe Claire, 275-3 Boul. St- Jean (NOT at Le Baby Shop but at Fundomondo)
corner: Remembrance Highway
Date: Thurs, Apr 2, 7pm