EVALUATING THE TIME
In the years since I
created this business, three excuses have topped the list for why people don't want to cloth
diaper. In a series of articles, I will take the time to address each of these issues
for the true, cloth-diapering researcher who is still a bit skeptical.
realize that everybody in the world will not begin cloth diapering tomorrow. We all
make lifestyle choices based on the information we have available to us. My response to
these comments is not meant to be deriding but rather to shed light in the darkness and show
that there are two-sides to the same story.
Today I will look at
the comment, "I don't have time to be washing diaper laundry, I can't keep up with the
laundry I already have." This two part excuse requires a two part answer.
First regarding the
phrase, "I can't keep up with the laundry I already have."
laundry is different. No sorting or pretreatment is required before going into the
laundry. Once the diapers are clean no sorting, folding, and putting away is required.
And don't even think of ironing them, regardless of what some studies report. The hardest
parts, the most dreaded parts of laundry are absent.
diaper pail is full, you will find your washing machine amidst the piles of unsorted laundry;
dump in your diapers and begin with a cold pre-rinse. (75 seconds down the stairs and
putter around straightening the living room and an hour later when you remember the laundry
you run down add detergent and start a hot wash. (60 sec)
later when you are, "oh yah, I have diaper laundry" you can run back down stairs
(your exercise for the day is increasing, good for you) and change the diapers from the washer
into the dryer. At the same time, it will be easy to add a new load of clothing to the
washer. (90 sec)
night you are nearly out of diapers when you realize, "Hey, I have fresh clean diapers in
the dryer." You run down with a basket. Unload the dryer; change the other laundry
really fast.; and bring up a basket of fresh clean diapers all ready to go. (75
diapers straight from the basket is totally acceptable. Of course, you can always choose a nice wicker basket or a
modern canvas basket to match the look of the room you change diapers in.
are most often washed about 3 times a week.
time spent: 15 minutes
Three other clean loads of laundry are complete.
saved: 5-10 minutes; dirty diapers do not have to be harvested from the modern slice 'em,
dice 'em, weenie making diaper pails and toted to the garage. Less waste will need to be
hauled to the curb each week.
the times will vary depending on the location of the laundry facilities. Mine are all
the way down stairs and require a bit of an aerobic exercise to get to.
Second the phrase,
"I don't have time to be washing diaper laundry" actually begs the question,
"How much time does it require to use disposable diapers?"
Lets evaluate this
with an imaginary family who has just had their first sweet little baby of course it must
be a girl, because they make really cute cloth diapers for little girls. Anyways, I
disposable diaper costs about $.25 and according to the American Academy of Pediatrics you
want at least 10 used diapers a day. This means 70 used diapers in one
week. At $.25 each we have a total weekly cost of $17.50.
This same family
makes $50,000 a year gross salary. After deductions and taxes calculated at 30%
combined the hourly wage earned is $16.83 an hour.
Total time spent
working to use Disposable Diapers: 62 minutes
Extra Time not
accounted for: time necessary for purchasing disposable diapers and then toting them into
Extra Cost not
accounted for: extra cost for disposable wipes ($5.75 a week), diaper pail refills,
diaper bag baggies, cost for
diaper creams, and cost spent traveling to purchase disposable products.
PinStripes and PolkaDots
Articles in Series
with the Poopies: Isn't that gross?
the Timing: Is it too late to choose cloth?