Ethics: April 2004 Archives

Diaperless Babies

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More scatological news: Environmentalists have a new cause. We should abandon diapers. Disposables, of course, aren't easily biodegradable and take up lots of room in landfills. They also contan material that will pollute if incinerated. Yet this isn't just a move to cloth diapers. Those use too much detergent, water, and energy to keep washing. The solution? Just stop using them, and figure out the signs to anticipate when your baby is about to engage in bodily functions. Find a toilet or a tree, and then all you'll need to do is wipe the kid. (via Volokh)

I have no words for how stupid this is. This would result in washing clothes more often (or just buying more clothes and having more clothes to wash when you do it), since no one can perfectly predict when a kid's about to unload. Therefore it involves more cleaning supplies: paper or cloth towels or wipes, soap, detergent. It also raises questions about what to do when traveling. Car seats, couches, and public places create problems and not just with having extra changes of clothes. You can't stop a car with no notice in some locations. Certain things are much harder to clean even than clothes. What about the health issues of having waste matter distributed behind trees and such places?

This just takes the environmental problem back a step and just makes life ridiculously more difficult, especially when you've got more than one kid in diapers. It would surprise me to hear this from pretty much anyone except an environmentalist group.



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