Parents encouraged to go for cloth

HEATHER SIMPSON
Last updated 07:22 21/03/2014
Melanie Old
Scott Hammond

Nappy happy: Blenheim mum Melanie Old uses cloth nappies on 17-month-old daughter Amelia Jane Old

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Blenheim mums and dads should consider going back to basics and use cloth nappies to save money and cut landfill waste, say two Blenheim fans of cloth nappies.

Parents are more conservative in Marlborough shying away from cloth and preferring their offspring to piddle and poo in disposable nappies, one mother has said.

Two Blenheim mothers who opt for the more natural and old-fashioned practice of cloth nappies said turning their nose up at disposables had been good for their wallet and the environment.

As part of Cloth Nappy Week, starting on Monday, more mums and dads are being encouraged to make the change.

Switching from disposables to cloth can save a family $4667 during the first two-and-a-half years of a child's life. The basic cost of disposables is $5435 compared with cloth nappy costs of $767.

Eco-conscious parents can also make a contribution to reducing landfill waste.

Marlborough District Council said between July 2011 and February this year the total weight of nappies collected was 559 tonnes, equating to 5.5 per cent of black bag tonnage. That is enough to fill 89,012 black bags with nappies.

Microfibre technology means cloth nappies do the job of disposables and the only difference was that they get thrown into the washing machine instead of the rubbish bin.

Blenheim mother-of-three and cloth nappy user Esther Stone runs online cloth nappy business Beautiful Bottoms. Marlborough families had initially been slow to follow the national trend, she said.

"I would encourage every mum to give it go.

"It is good for the baby's skin, good for the environment and good for the family wallet," she said.

Blenheim mother Melanie Old said she used cloth nappies on her 17-month-old daughter Amelia Jane because of financial reasons.

"When Amelia Jane was four months we went away on holiday and my husband received an email that he had been made redundant. He got a new job which didn't pay as much. Twelve cloth nappies last two days and is more economical than paying $20 a week on disposables."

During last year's Cloth Nappy Week Ms Old snapped up four packs to try out and hasn't looked back.

"They are really addictive. People have this view they are the old-fashioned white and pink stripped nappies held together with safety pins. The new nappies have velcro and popper buttons and they stay in place really well. She loves to play with them because they are quite quirky."

To mark the week an event is being held at Assembly of God Church at 7.30pm on Tuesday, March 25. Interested parents can chat about their nappy options.

Prizes up for grabs include a Bosch washing machine, a year's supply of Earthwise Eco friendly products, a $1000 buggy from Baby on the Move and packets of modern cloth nappies as well. The event is free, but people should take a plate to share for supper.

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- The Marlborough Express

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