The US puts about 30 billion disposable diapers into landfills every year, contributing to the colossal plastic waste harming our planet. Cloth diapering is a solution to this problem, but many parents are hesitant to try what sounds to be a difficult endeavor. Enter Nina, a Mom herself and owner of Diaperkind, a service that makes cloth diapering incredibly easy for parents.
We sat down with Nina and asked her to shed light on cloth diapering and it's many benefits.
Hazel Baby: How did you get involved with Diaperkind?
Nina: I got involved at Diaperkind by being a customer! When I was expecting my first I looked for a cloth diaper service and Diaperkind came highly recommended. My partner is a die-hard recreational surfer and goes all year round. Since we’re at the beach so much, we kept seeing more and more plastic litter in the water and it really inspired us to commit to a lower waste lifestyle.
Hazel Baby: Are you a mom? What are your kids' names?
I am a mom! My son Noah (who goes by Owl) is two-and-a-half and our new baby is Liivi, who is turning two months in a few weeks. My partner and I had a deal that he would choose their first names and they would carry on my last name. My dad passed away when I was a teenager and it was important to me to keep his last name going.
Hazel Baby: When did you know you wanted to use cloth diapers?
I never really considered using disposables, to be honest. My mom used a cloth diaper service in Canada (where we grew up) for both my sister and myself. My younger sister actually just had a baby in Vancouver and she’s using a cloth diaper service as well! The climate crisis can feel overwhelming, and with all the sleepless nights you have while pregnant and then with young children, I found myself becoming increasingly anxious. There’s so much that needs to be done at a macro level that individual changes can feel insignificant; but I personally feel motivated and also reassured by trying. It gives my optimism for the next generation to combine things I can do while advocating for bigger changes at the same time.
Hazel Baby: How does using cloth diapers make an impact on the environment?
Nina: The US puts about 30 billion disposable diapers into landfills every year. Most plastic diapers take upwards of 500 years to biodegrade, which is pretty crazy considering they are only worn for a few hours. In addition to how we get rid of them it’s also important to consider how they are made; disposable diapers are often made of non-renewable materials such as petroleum based plastics; the harvesting of which is causing damage to our ecosystem. Even bamboo and biodegradable diapers generally involve production processes that are extremely invasive for a product that’s usefulness is so short-lived.
Hazel Baby: How easy is it for someone to use the Diaperkind service?
Nina: The nice thing about using our cloth diaper service is you don’t have to do the laundry yourself, which can be daunting. Our service also uses a four part washing process in high efficiency industrial machines which makes sure diapers are fully sanitized every week and PH balanced; which is important for preventing diaper rash. Otherwise, all you have to do is remember to put the diapers out once a week – and we send a reminder!
Hazel Baby: What other practices do you and your family have for everyday sustainability?
Nina: We try to keep an optimistic and flexible attitude when it comes to sustainability and do the best we can in the situations we’re in. We eat mostly vegetarian food and vegan more and more. Unfortunately the city wide compost that was rolled out a few years ago was stopped during Covid, but we use a wonderful service called Vokashi which picks up our compost every month. We share the costs with our downstairs neighbor which makes it more affordable. I always carry a pouch with utensils and a straw so I can avoid disposable ones when I’m eating lunch or out with my kids. We try to avoid food pouches and instead use these great refillable ones and are pretty diligent about shopping second hand and properly disposing of items. For example, we collect our corks from wine bottles and drop them off a few times a year to a shop near us that collects them for recycling.
Hazel Baby: Is it true that babies potty train faster when you use cloth diapers?
Nina: The rumor is true! Because children experience the feeling of wetness with cloth, it’s easier to explain, and for them to understand, what needing to use the bathroom is like. Most of our customers age out of the service by about two and a half, whereas babies using disposables average closer to 3.5 to 4 years.
We're so glad that DiaperKind is offered in Jersey City and would love to hear from parents who are using it. DM us on IG if you have an experience to share! You can find out more about the DiaperKind service at their website and follow them on social media.