Can diaper changing contest save Floridas environment?

admin | 4/26/2012, 5:30 a.m.

Helping to save the planet can come in a lot of different forms, from conserving water and recycling to driving less. But Mia McDonald is hoping that parents will consider what their children wear and how that can impact the environment. More specifically, what their babies wear on their backsides.According to McDonald, using cloth diapers instead of disposable ones has long term environmental consequences. One baby from birth until they are potty-trained will contribute nearly one ton of trash to our landfills if they are wearing disposable diapers; those disposable diapers diapers take 300 to 500 years to decompose, she explained. So, the owner and operator of Mother Earth Diaper Service partnered with Stinkin Cute Natural Baby Boutique and the non-profit organization, Real Diaper Association, and hosted local Great Cloth Diaper Change events on Saturday, April 21st to celebrate Earth Day. In Miami-Dade County, the Great Cloth Diaper Change was held at The Gathering Place in Miami, while Broward Countys event was at BM Organics in Ft. Lauderdale. The international event was established last year and is attempting to break last years Guinness World Record of people simultaneously changing more than 5,026 cloth diapers at 127 locations in five countries. While it was fun for parents to come out and meet other environmentally-conscious people, the event was designed to raise awareness about the benefits of using cloth diapers, according to McDonald. According to the Real Diaper Association, disposable diapers make up the third largest single consumer item in landfills and make up to 50 percent of household waste. They have also been found to contain carcinogens and other toxins. Meanwhile, because [cloth diapers] are reusable, we are decreasing the amount of trash we create and because cloth is made out of cotton, it can decompose within 10 years, said McDonald whose business provides a weekly laundering and delivery service of cloth diapers throughout South Florida. To educate more adults about the benefits of using cloth diapers, McDonald also presented a free seminar after the initial diaper changing event. For those individuals who hesitate about making the switch, she explained, its more a matter of changing your mindset the additional time that [parents] will spend laundering diapers is minimal because with a baby youre going to be laundering a lot of clothes anyway. For more information about cloth diapers, visit www.motherearthdiapers.com/whycloth.aspx or www.realdiaperassociation.org. By Kaila Heardkheard@miamitimesonline.com