by Eileen Weber
Every mom wants what’s best for her baby. So why not have all natural, environmentally friendly products for your little one? There are a number of them out there that promote lotions, shampoos, and even boo-boo cream.
Linda Zielski, Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Seaside Naturals in Branford, found it important to include baby products with the rest of her all natural line.
She and her husband David bought the Simple.Pure.Clean. cleaning service in 2003. About a year or two later, they had launched a Simple.Pure.Baby. line of all natural ingredients with essential oils infused with herbs.
One product that has been very popular is her diaper cream. She said that one customer told her that her newborn had been on antibiotics and had gotten a horrible rash as a result. After one application, the baby’s rash had disappeared. “They’re really effective,” she said. “I’m really proud to say that.”
Besides the slew of all natural products available on the market, a bigger issue looms on your baby’s bottom: diapers. Many parents turn to organic cotton cloth diapers. But those parents also deal with the hassle of cleaning them or using a service. And, the cloth ones are often less convenient than a disposable.
That’s where the eco-diapers come in. There are a few companies that have championed the biodegradable diaper that do not contain harmful chemicals.
“The breathability is relevant—there’s no plastic,” said Kimberly Graham-Nye, co-founder of gDiapers, in an interview with Colorado & Company, a morning talk show. “But because you’ve got plastic and [body] heat, you’ve got diaper rash.”
“They sell pretty well,” said Shimel Taylor, a grocery buyer for the Westport branch of the Whole Foods. Taylor also noted that customers have to try them first to realize they’re just as good as the mainstream brands. “Once customers catch on, people tend to buy them more.”
But while disposable diapers are convenient, there has been controversy about how harmful they are to the environment. According to the gDiapers web site, the average baby uses about 5,000 diapers before potty training. Ninety-five percent of those diapers are disposable and end up in landfills. Studies show that it will take approximately 500 years for a plastic diaper to break down.
But even cloth diapers are not immune to the eco-friendly debate. While many parents use a service for their cloth diapers, those companies use tons of water and chemicals to clean them. For the eco-friendly diaper, the amount of fuel to transport them to the landfills is the same as it is for the plastic disposable.
Another downside to the eco-diaper is the expense. The gDiaper, for instance, costs a little less than $30 for a starter kit that only includes 2 cloth outer pants and 10 natural fiber inserts. Any self-respecting baby could conceivably poop through that in one day.
Nature Boy & Girl, another eco-diaper company, sells diapers made from corn-based materials from their web site. A box with a 120 count costs slightly less than $50. A box of 120 plastic disposables costs about half that at any large retail warehouse store.
But, regardless of your preference for cloth or disposable, one thing remains true: We can’t keep clogging up our landfills with things that don’t disappear.