Welcome to the Earth Day Blog Carnival
This post is part of the Earth Day Blog Carnival hosted by Child of the Nature Isle and Monkey Butt Junction. Each participant has shared their practices and insights of earth friendly, environmentally conscious, eco-living. This carnival is our way to share positive information and inspiration that can create healing for our planet. Please read to the end of this post to find a list of links to the other carnival participants. Happy Earth Day!
|At ten months, Annabelle had transitioned
to sometimes using the big toilet, especially
at night when emptying and sanitizing a little
potty would be too disruptive to our sleep.
While our choice to practice Elimination Communication was mostly about meeting our daughter’s needs as respectfully and hygienically as possible, the environmental impact of that choice, or rather the lack thereof, is worth noting.
The Real Diaper Association‘s website lists some sobering data that reveals just how much waste goes along with disposable diapering:
“Over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks and 20 pounds of chlorine are used to produce disposable diapers for one baby EACH YEAR.”
“The manufacture and use of disposable diapers amounts to 2.3 times more water wasted than cloth.”
“Disposable diapers generate sixty times more solid waste and use twenty times more raw materials, like crude oil and wood pulp.”
(See this page for more data and a list of their sources.)
Aside from the waste, there is the issue of all the chemicals
that make their way into our environment as a result of the manufacturing process for disposable diapers, and the large amounts of human waste being deposited in landfills instead of the sewer system. Knowing this, the choice to avoid disposable diapers was an easy one for us to make. Clearly, cloth was a better choice for the environment as well as for our daughter’s health, so like many families, we decided early on to avoid disposable diapers.
Still, non-renewable resources are used not only in manufacturing, but also in the regular use of cloth diapers. Even the more energy efficient front loading washing machines use about 20-25 gallons of water to clean one load of laundry. While this is a huge improvement on the 40 or so gallons consumed by your average top loading machine, it’s still significant. Add to that the energy required to run the machine, the detergent and the plastic containers it comes in, and the energy needed to dry cloth diapers if you don’t hang them on a line. While it’s far gentler on the earth than disposable diapers, cloth diapering still has a considerable environmental impact.
By practicing elimination communication instead of using cloth diapers full time, we significantly reduce the number of washes required to keep our daughter clean and dry. We also minimize wear and tear on the diapers we do have which means that they can easily be used for future children, and maybe even passed on to another family after we’re finished. Elimination communication also makes our daughter more aware of her own bodily functions, which should lead to earlier potty independence and an overall shortened duration of time in diapers. Practicing EC is just one way that our family has found to minimize our impact on the environment.
For more info on elimination communication:
Intro to EC Part 1: Philosophy at the Natural Parents Network
Intro to EC Part 2: Practice at the Natural Parents Network
For more on our journey with EC:
How We EC
On the Move (An Update at 4 Months)
EC Update – 4.5 Months
Traveling With Fluff
EC Update (at 6.5 Months)
EC Update – 9.5 Months
What are some of the things your family does to minimize your environmental impact? I would love to learn from you!
Going Green in 2011
– Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama
discusses the way she and her family are going “greener” in 2011.
Our Greatest Teacher
– Amanda at Let’s Take the Metro
shares her experiences with her children and nature, their greatest teacher.
Earth Conscious Minimalism
– Nada at miniMOMist
thinks minimalism can help you save the world — as long as you don’t just toss everything in the trash! Check out Her list of places to donate (bet you haven’t thought of them all!).
Blessings to the Earth
– Amy at Anktangle
believes that a simple act, such as being intentionally grateful for our food, is just the catalyst we need to bring about large-scale change.
Eight Movies to Inspire Change
– Mrs Green at Little Green Blog
shares her top 8 movies that have inspired her to take action to make the world a better place. She’d love to hear your suggestions to add to her viewing list!
Can I Have a Green Period Too?
Kelly at Becoming Crunchy
shares the environmental impact of switching to sustainable menstrual products, along with offering a great Mama Cloth giveaway for anyone interested in making the switch (and for those who already have and want to increase their stash!).
An Eden to Call Our Own
– Lucy at Dreaming Aloud
shares how learning to care for the Earth starts in her own garden.
– Melissa at the New Mommy Files
discusses the environmental impact of diapering, and why elimination communication was the best choice for her family.
Earth Day Anthem
– Amanda at Let’s Take the Metro
created a poem in honor of Mother Earth, women and nurturers everywhere.
The Plasticity of Compromise
– Zoie at TouchstoneZ
shares how she is working to compromise on healthy family living and avoiding plastics whenever possible.
Earth Day Resolutions
– Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama
shares why she has decided to make Earth Day resolutions, what those resolutions are, and how they are a step up from her current efforts at green living.
Homeschooling with the Earth
– Terri at Child of the Nature Isle
shares her desires and dreams for Earth-based learning and the ways her two young children have already started a natural curriculum.
Beyond the Green Sheen
– Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction
offers some advice on how to avoid greenwashing and make purchasing choices that really have a positive impact.