Myths de­bunked

Benalla Ensign - - Front Page - By Si­mon Rup­pert

Be­nalla Mum Rahni Gee is sav­ing lo­cal par­ents money, and the planet, one nappy at a time.

Since be­com­ing a first-time mum to Char­lotte in Fe­bru­ary, Rahni has been spread­ing the word about re-us­able nap­pies, which can save par­ents about $4500 per child in nappy costs.

On top of the fi­nan­cial sav­ing, re­plac­ing dis­pos­able nap­pies has a pos­i­tive af­fect on the en­vi­ron­ment.

Ac­cord­ing www.sus­tain­abil­ 800 mil­lion dis­pos­able nap­pies end up in land­fills each year in Aus­tralia.

That equates to 145 000 cu­bic me­ters of waste, enough to fill the MCG three times.

Rahni said de­spite the fi­nan­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits many peo­ple were con­cerned with what she de­scribes as the po­ten­tial for a ‘‘poo-splo­sion’’.

‘‘My mum used reusable nap­pies and just didn’t re­alise that hardly any­one else uses them un­til I joined a lo­cal moth­ers group,’’ she said.

‘‘I did some re­search and found out that 95 per cent of par­ents in Aus­tralia use dis­pos­able nap­pies.

‘‘When I asked some of the other moth­ers why they don’t they said they thought the cloth was too rough, they cost too much and they are messy.

‘‘So I wanted to change that per­cep­tion and show them that reusable nap­pies are not hard to use, you don’t have ‘poo-splo­sion’ and they don’t have to be ex­pen­sive.

‘‘I am sell­ing them in Be­nalla and I’m sell­ing them as cheap as I can, so peo­ple can af­ford to use cloth.’’

With all the re­cent pub­lic­ity around re­duc­ing ocean plas­tic, in par­tic­u­lar the re­cent push by to su­per­mar­kets to re­place sin­gleuse plas­tic bags, Rahni said she was shocked nap­pies were never in that con­ver­sa­tion.

‘‘I don’t know, I think maybe some peo­ple don’t re­alise they’re made of plas­tic, so maybe that’s why,’’ she said.

‘‘I think maybe there is just not enough aware­ness of the prob­lems with dis­pos­able nap­pies. There is a hash­tag #make­cloth­main­stream which is start­ing to take off.

‘‘But it’s not just the plas­tic that is an is­sue. They also in­clude chem­i­cals, such as ph­tha­lates. They can neg­a­tively im­pact your child’s hor­mone bal­ance. They can also in­clude tox­ins and chem­i­cals like dioxin.

‘‘So its not great to put them on your baby.’’

There are plenty of op­tions out there for reusable nap­pies, and they have come a long way since the abra­sive ma­te­rial held to­gether with safety pins used in pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion.

‘‘Mod­ern reusable nap­pies don’t use pins, they use but­tons, and one nappy can be ad­justed, so you only need to buy one and then you can use them from new­born un­til they are out of nap­pies,’’ Rahni said.

‘‘There are also swim nap­pies avail­able as well and even if par­ents just start with a reusable swim nappy that’s about 50 nap­pies per year not go­ing into a land­fill.’’

As well as of­fer­ing af­ford­able reusable nap­pies for sale Rahni also runs a Face­book page where she pub­lishes help­ful clips and is avail­able to an­swer any ques­tions.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit Char­lottesWorldMCN on Face­book.

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