Friday, April 27, 2007

Our impact on Planet Earth

Lately I've been giving this a lot of thought. I truly feel that we are destroying our ecosystem with all of our 'modern conveniences'. This morning I started pondering the disposable diaper issue. We use cloth diapers but haven't always and still use some disposable diapers. I decided this morning to crunch some numbers.

The US Population is approximately 300 million. EVERY SINGLE ONE of those 300 million people wore diapers til an average age of two. A portion of the population, the over 50 crowd, were born before the modern 'convenience' of disposables, so we'll assume they were cloth diapered. So a rough 'guesstimate' would be 50% of the population, or 150 million people wore disposable diapers. Lets assume that that their parents changed them every 3 hours, until age two. By their second birthday each child has used 5,840 diapers. Multiply that by the 150 million (half the US population) and thats 876 TRILLION disposable diapers. TRILLION!

I was just searching the internet to find out a weight for those 876 trillion diapers but to no avail. Instead I found a few 'studies' citing that the environmental impact between cloth and disposables is negligible due to energy and water consumption in the care of cloth. Now I'm no scientist but that sounds plain ignorant to me. Nothing can convince me to believe that washing diapers in my home and line drying OR drying them in my dryer is more detrimental to the environment than dumping 7000 disposable diapers per child into a landfill.

Maybe the same people who wrote those studies should start advocating disposable clothing, since the environmental impact should be the same whether we wash and reuse our clothing or toss them into a landfill and buy new ones. Thats what I got out of it, ignorant rubbish. I wonder how much the disposable diaper companies paid them to publish their 'studies'.

No comments: