I started out saying "I'll never buy stupid disposable diapers! They're terrible for the environment. The evil people that market disposable diapers can't fool me!"
So we didn't buy any disposable diapers. And then we brought The Lorax to daycare on Day #6. And the girls there were like "what is this rag on him?" And then we were in an airport with a yucky, poopy cloth in our carry-on. And I quickly forgot the charm of cloth diapers. Then when the young Bois got a peri-anal abscess (probably from all the moisture of the cloth diapers overnight), the reasons to switch to disposable were overwhelming.
And, honestly, when I get my period would I ever force myself to use cloths instead of tampons or maxipads? You can probably guess the answer to that.
So now we've got like 50 unused cloth diapers I received as gifts. We do still use cloth diapers at home during the day through a diaper service (they do the wash), but disposable diapers are our mainstay. Thus we didn't end up coming out on top environmentally or monetarily.
So, since I am going to give in and buy disposable diapers, I feel the need to buy the ones that are "Chlorine Free" and claim to release less dioxin into the environment in their production.
So I use the brown, environmental diapers and rest on the easy chair of my laurels. But are they really worth twice as much? I did some research into dioxin. Turns out it has never been proven to be carcinogenic or cause birth defects in humans, as it suggests on the package and says all over the web. I'm not trying to suggest that dioxin is a benign chemical. It is carcinogenic and teratogenic in rats at high enough concentrations. But it is a byproduct of all bleached paper products. And the levels that it is at now have not been definitively linked to any health problem. Furthermore, the amount of dioxin released from 1987 to 2000 decreased by 90% due to stricter environmental regulations. So does buying chlorine-free diapers make any difference if all diaper companies have to meet the strict regulations? Besides that, there are even stricter regulations for waste incineration...
As an aside, if you would really like to spare yourself and your baby from dioxins, don't eat meat.
This table shows our exposure to TEQ, a dioxin equivalent.
Although, in another study it was found that the benefits of fish consumption due to omega-3 exposure were notably higher than the potential dioxin cancer risk.
(Leino O. Tainio M. Tuomisto JT. Comparative risk analysis of dioxins in fish and fine particles from heavy-duty vehicles. [Journal Article. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't] Risk Analysis. 28(1):127-40, 2008 Feb. )
And then there's baby food.
Finally is, of course, baby bottles. I went to great lengths to tell everyone who was coming to my baby shower that I wanted GLASS bottles (obviously that in itself is annoying). Of course, I didn't get any, because you just can't find them anywhere. So I went to even greater lengths to find the 5 glass bottles that existed in our state. And, in the end, the only effect of having glass will probably be that someone gets injured by the heavy bottle. But despite the FDA saying plastic bottles, even with Bisphenol A, are safe, I can't get myself to take any sort of "chances."
One thing I am very glad we have not done is buy new clothing. Get it used any way you can! The clothes will only fit for 3 months. And when there's a little "backwash" it won't be such a big deal.
What is the moral here? There is none. I just wanted to share the experience of a perhaps pointlessly idealistic mom.
Anyone have any running songs to suggest?