Read the article in the Santa Cruz Goodtimes here
Diapers cost families THOUSANDS of dollars and spend HUNDREDS of years in landfills.
Earth Diaper provides families in need with compostable diapers and a service that does the composting. By partnering with local agencies, we empower communities to support the earth and its most vulnerable residents.
Clean diapers are central to a baby’s well-being, but many families can’t afford this basic need. Low income families often ask for diaper assistance that is not available. Diapers are required to attend most childcare programs. Without clean diapers, youngsters may miss out on early education opportunities, and parents remain unemployed if their kids can’t attend daycare. Find out more here.
An estimated 20 billion disposable diapers are added to landfills throughout the country each year, creating about 3.5 million tons of waste. Diapers account for about 3% of landfill waste, a huge impact! According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, disposable diapers introduce pathogens into the environment from the solid waste they contain. Learn more about the urgent ways diapers are impacting our earth here.
Help Us Reach More Families
Sponsoring a family for one month diverts up to 300 diapers from landfills.
On a more personal note:
Inspiration and hard work comes from a place of deep care and passion. In our case this is for the earth and for its humans who struggle every day to be here.
When I think about my own personal fire of inspiration behind this project I see a long history.
I grew up middle class and white in a family that valued and talked about environmental preservation on the regular. I grew up as well influenced by native American mentors who instilled a deep love of the earth, reverence for nature as well as the stars and sun and moon. These values lie deep in my cells and inform how I live my life as an adult. Sadly, this comes with a fair amount of pain as my empathetic self feels the pain of the earth’s destruction.
Fast forward to my life in health care after becoming an RN, I realized by trial and error that the clients I gravitated to most were low income. When I worked the postpartum floors in hospitals I preferred the public institution over the private. However, it wasn’t until 5 years ago when I began doing home visits as a public health nurse that my deeper understanding of what it means to be low income in America began to dawn on me. I began to study culture of poverty and interface with it as if for the first time. I really had NO idea.
Since then the understanding has seeped in even more and I am continually amazed by the resilience to live with so little, and often in the face of violence and trauma. These families have the ability to be resourceful, to form communities of support, to function under constant fear, and to do back breaking labor and farm-work without normal protections (or chiropractic support!). I see fathers who work several jobs and rarely see their children in order to support the family on low paying jobs. I see mothers who valiantly leave their newborn babies in daycare in order to clean a middle or upper class person’s home to survive. I see women who have very little self esteem find the strength from parenting to advocate for their families. I see families who support 6 people on $1000 a month in Santa Cruz county, one of the most expensive places to live in the US. I see moms give up drug addiction for their babies and pick their lives up off the floor and humbly start over despite crippling judgment. These folks teach me so much every day I go to work.
The opportunity to give back to these people who have taught me so much and are so inspiring literally brings tears to my eyes. How I wish for all people to live with ease and wellbeing. How I wish for all these babies to have the best start possible and to grow with their full potential available to them. How I wish that other people like me could make these connections and be inspired as I am. How I wish for a world where we could love and protect our earth and its most vulnerable residents.
Hayden’s inspiration as a mother and fire behind this project has also been an amazing inspiration to watch her work, even with no sleep and a young child. Her commitment to the earth is so touching to me.
Why diapers? Because over and over again I hear from families this is a difficult thing to provide and that diaper changes happen too infrequently from lack of supply. And diapers are 3% of our landfill waste and growing. They take 500 years to break down. And mothers tell me that it hurts their hearts to create so much garbage. Thus the idea was born: compostable diapers for the most vulnerable families.
Thank you for your support and for caring with us. It takes a village to make change.