Where real moms tell it like it is.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Poo-Pooing Diapers

Okay, I am going to admit something in Berkeley that is akin to supporting the war in Iraq or purchasing non-organic produce: I use disposable diapers on my son. And they are not the so-called biodegradable kind from Whole Foods -- but Huggies, which I buy in large boxes from Target.

It wasn't always this way. Prior to my son's birth, I competed with all the other Berkeley mothers in protecting the environment and raising my son the way my Caribbean ancestors did – the au natural way, which included changing at least 10 cloth diapers a day. I subscribed to a diaper service and even wrote an article for Wired touting the advantages of cloth versus disposable diapers, especially for baby boys.

But after seven months of receiving no help at home with diaper changing -- my husband travels often for business -- I cancelled the service and switched to disposables. Still, I often feel a twinge of guilt when I receive press releases such as this one from Knowaste touting diaper recycling due to the mountain of poopie diapers sitting in landfills:

Seoul, Korea -- Facing rapidly diminishing landfill capacities, the South Korean National Assembly is currently exploring new recycling options to help offset its disposal of solid waste, recently considering innovative disposable diaper recycling technologies introduced by international recycling leader, Knowaste LLC. Hearing testimony on the significant problems associated with disposing of diapers, Korean National Assembly members explored diaper recycling programs that Knowaste is implementing on a worldwide basis for environmentally-conscious countries and municipalities.

“Seoul’s landfills will be full by 2020, and outlying regions will run out of landfills in five years,” said Korea Zero Waste Movement Network Commissioner Mi Hwa Kim. “The government should actively explore ways to recycle consumer waste such as diapers.”

No, it doesn't make me want to go back to using cloth diapers. But, I often wonder if our own government will have to resort to some regulation due to the mounds of waste produced.


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