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Are you trading trash for your personal convenience?

Posted by CDB Guest on 3/24/2007 to Green Living

As a mother I enjoy many modern conveniences. Take for instance the microwave - perfect for re-heating the same cup of coffee 3 times because I was too busy wiping noses, bums, or putting together Lego® castles to sit down and drink it. Yea microwave! GO MICROWAVE!

I am also thankful for refrigerators - those iceboxes were innovative for their day, but I prefer to plug mine in and not fiddle faddle with my daily order of ice. Thank you William Cullen for your amazing mind back in 1748. Mothers across the globe, I assure you, would kiss your feet if they had a time machine ... and er ... you didn't have hairy toes.

Let's see ... there is modern plumbing (that's a really good one), indoor air conditioning and heating, coffee makers, computers, ... the list goes on. WE LOVE OUR CONVENIENCES.

Thing is, there is a price to pay for some conveniences - and that price is trash ... and lots of it. So, at what point do we trade in some of our conveniences for smarter, more earth-friendly choices? Probably not until we have to find a place to bury those conveniences ... like take for instance if you had to bury all your child's disposable diapers in your own backyard. Would you buy and use them then? Probably not. But get this ... they ARE buried in SOMEONE's backyard - oh yes, they are.

There are battles after battles for where to place the newest landfills. No one wants them in their backyard - who can blame them - but it doesn't stop their usage of them. I take issue with that. If you are a mass contributor to the mess - then at least carry the responsibility.

This experts over at babycenter were asked the question, "Are cloth or disposable diapers best during travel?". The response was typical.

"For long travel days or extended trips, however, there's no question that disposable diapers are the most convenient choice."

For the purpose of this post, let's push aside issues such as health, comfort, and depletion of the world's resources, and talk JUST about the waste. You're traveling and use a disposable diaper - what do you do with it? THROW IT AWAY. Right. Waste. That action trades convenience for the health of the earth. It is our egos that tell us our own convenience is worth the constant, needless, contributions of disposable diapers to the growing problem that we are outgrowing our landfills.

Cloth diaper make sense in light of our current day's decreased resources and increased need for landfill space. They have grown increasingly more convenient, but best yet, they will reduce consumption, can be reused across multiple children, and some of them can even be recycled into rags until their natural fibers break down and return to the earth. At any rate, they don't add to the landfills. They do not force you to trade/create trash for your personal convenience.