Not on herself, of course. Though that would be kinky. Celebrity Baby Blog is reporting that Maggie Gyllenhaal, sister of her equally famous brother Jake Gyllenhaal, is using organic cloth diapers for her new babe, Ramona.
We applaud this action for a myriad of reasons; the least of which is the opportunity to save cash. Consumer Reports has calculated that the average baby will require about $1500-$2500 in disposable diapers over the course of three years. The bigger reason — and one that’s a bit more complex — is the environmental impact of choosing cloth over disposable. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword, however, and this article explains why perfectly:
“Most agree that reusable diapers require more water and generate more waterborne wastes through the laundering process. And home laundering uses more energy than commercial laundering.
The downside of disposables? It takes more raw materials to make them, and they are the third largest source of solid waste. Although some diapers are touted as biodegradable, the lack of oxygen in landfills means disposable diapers can take a long time to break down. Advocates of cloth also argue that disposables take up two percent of landfill space, adding 2.8 billion tons of urine, feces, plastic and paper to landfills annually.”
So, neither choice is a clear-cut winner. However, using cloth diapers means you have complete control over how the process effects the system. For instance, a hard-core environmentalist might use water from a rain barrel to wash their cloth diapers. There are also cloth diaper services that clean in bulk and are more energy efficient than home washers. With landfills growing in size and consumption not abating, you might feel less guilty about contributing to a growing issue with cloth diapers.
Either way, we give Maggie the thumbs up on this decision. With nearly 80% of the babies in America using disposable diapers, it’s nice to see someone in the public eye showing people a greener alternative.