Sometimes a parent will buy a brand of diapers that gives their child a rash, leaving them stuck with dozens, maybe even hundreds, of diapers that they cannot use for fear of massive diaper rash. These people then take to online groups like Craiglist, FreeCycle, or local Facebook yard sale or freebie groups. Even if they aren’t giving the diapers away, many of them drastically slice the cost of the diapers.
In addition to the other two baby Registries, Babies R Us will PAY YOU 10% in reward dollars for anything purchased on your registry! WHAT?! Yes, that means you can use the money (via a gift card) to buy more items (aka get Diapers for FREE!), and remember, Babies R Us (or Toys R Us) take coupons. And, you can also use a manufacturer coupon on those diapers to get even more for your money!
The eco-factor — The sad truth is that 3.5 million tons of diapers end up in landfills every year. While cloth diapers don’t end up in the landfill, they do require lots of water and power to launder. Some say the carbon footprint of cloth and other eco diapers may not be that much less, in reality. (You can reduce the carbon footprint of cloth diapers by washing them in cold water and hanging them to dry.) What about disposable diapers? We recommend fragrance-free diapers, as toxic chemicals can be lumped in with a “fragrance” so they don’t have to be disclosed on the list of ingredients (due to “trade secret” laws). We also prefer chlorine-free diapers if they’re available to you.
In October 2008, "An updated lifecycle assessment study for disposable and reusable nappies" by the UK Environment Agency and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs stated that reusable diapers can cause significantly less (up to 40 per cent) or significantly more damage to the environment than disposable ones, depending mostly on how parents wash and dry them. The "baseline scenario" showed that the difference in green-house emissions was insignificant (in fact, disposables even scored slightly better). However, much better results (emission cuts of up to 40 per cent) could be achieved by using reusable diapers more rationally. "The report shows that, in contrast to the use of disposable nappies, it is consumers' behaviour after purchase that determines most of the impacts from reusable nappies. Cloth nappy users can reduce their environmental impacts by:
But honestly, cloth diapers, as I mentioned earlier, have the most robust free diaper programs and they're the easiest to access. Groups like Giving Diapers, Giving Hope and The Rebecca Foundation's Cloth Diaper Closet offer free cloth diapers to those in need. Alternatively, you can get free or very cheap cloth diapers from online forums like Diaper Swappers that specialize in recycled (highly laundered) cloth diapers. Change-Diapers.com is a great resource with a link every Friday for cloth diaper giveaways they've found online, too.
Other help may also be arranged. Some manufacturers issue coupons that parents can use to shop, or they give vouchers to pay for the diapers. The national companies may also coordinate fund raisers and partner with other regional businesses to help low income parents. Or they may provide surplus items to the diaper banks and non-profits that are listed below.
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