For most of history, almost everyone used cloth diapers. But soon after their disposable counterparts came into the market in the early ‘60s, cloth diapers started to fade into obscurity.
Today, however, as millennials are becoming parents, cloth diapers are making a huge comeback. And these diapers not like the rags and safety pins of decades past. Today’s new-fangled cloth diapers are easy to clean and use, and come in colorful designs. What is it exactly that is drawing this new generation of parents back to cloth diapers?
Photo: Donnie Ray Jones on Flickr
Most millennials choose cloth diapers for environmental reasons. To give you an idea of how
Here are some statistics that apply to the U.S. alone, from Livestrong:
- Around 20 billion disposable diapers are dumped in landfills each year—that’s 3.5 million tons of waste.
- More than 200,000 trees each year are used to manufacture disposable diapers
- 3.4 billion gallons of fuel oil are used every year to make diapers
- Disposable diapers use 20 times more raw materials, 2 times more water, and 3 times more energy to make than cloth diapers
In addition, disposable diapers don’t degrade well in a landfill, and take 500 years to decompose. The millions of tons of untreated waste from plastic diapers can contaminate ground water and local water supplies.
Even though individual cloth diapers are more expensive than their disposable counterparts, in the long run, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that in the long run, reusable diapers are kinder to your pocket.
Going back to basics
It’s no coincidence that the return of the cloth diaper coincides with the increased interest in home births, midwifery, co-sleeping, and exclusive breastfeeding. With their preference for all things organic and natural, it’s not hard to understand why millennials would be drawn to cloth diapers.
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