Saturday, April 25, 2009

Real Nappy Week in the UK

This year’s Real Nappy Campaign in the UK is advising parents to combat the credit crunch with real nappies.

The UK Real Nappy Week (April 27 – May 3) coincides with an announcement by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd that Australia has followed the world into a recession. During a time of economic hardship, the use of cloth nappies has been proven to save families up to $4000 per child.

Increasingly, cloth nappies are being seen as an economical alternative to disposables and Australia’s Fourth Annual Reusable Nappy Week (RNW) will be held from the 13th to the 18th of October. RNW is an advocacy event, used to raise awareness of the benefits of cloth nappying.

Outgoing RNW coordinator, Lucy Westerman, says she has seen a significant shift in awareness of reusable options during her time as a volunteer for the Australian Nappy Network.

“In the 5 years I have had my children in nappies, I have seen an incredible increase in availability, quality and awareness about reusable nappies in Australia. Anecdotally, there has been a distinct resurgence in the use of reusable nappies, with so many wonderful fabric, design and budget choices available.”

“When considering everything, including transport and laundering,” says Westerman, “Choosing reusable nappies can cost a meager 5c per nappy change, as opposed to throwing away more than 50c on a single use nappy.”

Rosa Bohan, mother of two from Dubbo believes there is no better time to switch to cloth. “The financial savings are enormous,” she says. “It makes such a difference to the family budget when you can save between $30 and $50 a week at the checkout, simply by using cloth on one or two children.”

A number of local councils around Australia are supporting the use of cloth within communities. The City of Casey in Victoria is offering rebates on the purchase of a reusable nappy system and the City of Melbourne offers free advice, information and support to parents who are considering the switch to cloth.

Last year, a study found that the use of cloth nappies can reduce carbon emissions by up to 40%. This, coupled with phenomenal savings and the ease of use of modern design cloth nappies, is effecting a shift in the way many Australian parents are choosing to nappy their children.

“When modern cloth nappies save thousands of dollars and require no pinning, soaking or folding, it’s getting harder for parents to find a good excuse to use disposables,” says a Sydney mum of one. “Even working mums are finding that it’s just as easy to take cloth nappies to day care and run them through a quick wash in the evening.”

© Eva Whiteley 2009

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