Ditching disposables for cloth

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Boosters, all-in-one, pockets, snaps – the world of cloth nappies is full of strange terminology which can prove overwhelming for those considering making the switch.

But, as Plastic Free July comes to an end, it’s a timely reminder of a simple switch families can make to reduce their single-use plastic.

For those after a little local guidance, Canberra Cloth Bums can help. Emma Black started the group in November last year as a way to provide support and information to those interested in using cloth nappies.

Ms Black didn’t start using cloth nappies until her daughter was five months old and says the key is “not to be scared”.

“A lot of people who find out you are doing cloth say ‘that’s gross’ and think of the terry towelling and pilchers but it’s a lot different now.”

However, this is also part of the problem with Ms Black saying people interested in cloth can suffer “paralysis by analysis” from all the information available.

“People can get overwhelmed with the options but I just dived in with it,” she says, adding that for those considering cloth, it “doesn’t have to be all or nothing, you could start at doing just one day”.

While the initial upfront cost “can be intimidating and not knowing what works for your baby”, over the longer term cloth nappies can provide financial, as well as environmental, benefits compared to disposables.

Ms Black says while “disposables still have their place”, she would like people to see cloth as a viable alternative and believes the ACT Government could assist through a rebate scheme.

To help people navigate the options available there is a Wee Ones cloth nappy display at the Canberra Environment Centre (CEC) for parents who want to have a feel and look at the types of nappies before making a purchase.

Canberra Cloth Bums also runs introductory workshops at the CEC, with the next event on 1 September, and have a cloth nappy information session on Saturday 27 July at Wheat and Oats, Phillip.

For more information, find @canberraclothbums on Facebook.

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