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   Diapers: “Real men change diapers!” – Nick Cannon, American actor

I admit I was pretty proud of myself.

After a few twists and turns, the diaper on our newest granddaughter seemed to fit OK. Tight, but not too tight. We wouldn’t want any leaks, would we? And the best part, not a whimper from Evelyn, 10 months.

I spied what I thought was a diaper bucket next to the changing table, but on closer inspection, I determined it was simply a container for soiled disposable diapers. The lid pops up and you pop in the old diaper, and then when the container is full, you tie off the disposable container bag and cart it to the garbage.

I didn’t ask my daughter when she stopped using “real” diapers, you know, the ones made of cotton that her mom used to make for her and her sisters. I’m guessing it happened sometime between child number three and number four. Since she’s up to six, it may have been a time issue, not to mention convenience.

In our household, we used to joke that our bathroom bowls were the cleanest in town.

For older or “green” readers, you know the drill. You change the diaper and when appropriate, it goes in the stool for soaking and rinsing. Then to the diaper bucket, where it sits until the bucket is dumped into the washing machine. The strong scent of ammonia is coming back to me now, as I write this.

But I know that those cotton, washable diapers long ago fell out of fashion. The Environmental Protection Agency says 20 billion disposable diapers are dumped in landfills annually. That amounts to more than 3.5 million tons of waste.

And if that isn’t sobering enough, think of this: Without air and sunlight, those diapers apparently just sit in Mother Earth and molder. According to

The Good Human, an environmental website, disposable diapers take 500 years to decompose. Moreover, the viruses in the feces contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, which in turn affect climate change.

Are you persuaded yet to go back to the old-fashioned cotton diapers?

But wait, there’s more. The Good Human also reports that 200,000 trees are lost each year in the manufacture of disposable diapers and that 3.4 billion gallons of fuel oil are also used in the production.

July 24, 2019