Cloth for a cleaner Earth

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Brittany Andrews, a volunteer with the Great Cloth Diaper Change event, puts a cloth diaper on a doll at A Much Better Way. Those at the store will hold a cloth diapering event Saturday to raise awareness on the effects of diapering on the environment.

A Much Better Way Store owner Sheryl Lyon-Rayner is looking for a few good babies and adults to promote cloth diapers in light of Earth Day.

The store at 410 E. Grand Ave. in downtown Beloit will be part of the Great Cloth Diaper Change event as part of the Guinness World Records Diaper Challenge. The event is designed to bring awareness to the benefits of cloth diapering.

As part of the challenge the store will join with 324 Great Cloth Diaper Change hosts from 23 different countries. At the event adults will change a child, under 39 inches long, from a disposable to a cloth diaper.

Lyon-Rayner encourages participants to arrive at the store by 10:30 a.m. Saturday to register for the diaper changing, which will take place at 11 a.m., as people from around the world make the switch.

There are already 25 people registered for the Beloit event. With 800-square-feet in back of the store available, there will be plenty of room for moms, dads, babies, older children and other cloth diaper fans.

“We encourage people to come and hang out,” Lyon-Rayner said.

There has been some debate on blogs among moms as to which diaper has the bigger carbon footprint. Water and electricity goes into washing cloth diapers in addition to the gasoline for vehicles to pick them up to haul them to diaper services. However, there is a high amount of landfill waste associated with disposables and chemicals inside the disposable option. Despite debate, Lyon-Rayner said she believes cloth diapers are better for the environment as a whole if one looks at the big picture.

“The impact of the manufacturing process of disposables uses 2.3 times more water than cloth diapers and it takes 20 times the natural resources including wood pulp, petroleum and other non renewable resources to make disposables. They (disposables) also use toxic materials you don’t want on baby’s skin or in a landfill,” Lyon-Raymer said.

However, Lyon-Raymer said cloth isn’t perfect as the cotton used in them may be treated with pesticides. Its one of the reasons she sells organic and unbleached cotton products.

For those not ready to go all cloth all the time she recommends Grovia biosoakers, a hybrid between total cloth and using a disposable diaper.

“You throw away the yucky part and use a reusable cover,” she said.

Many parents will use them while traveling or at daycare.

“Other parents don’t want that ick factor of laundering,” she said.

Although Lyon-Raymer called it a “gateway diaper” she said it can be can be an alternative option for parents.

The primary reason Lyon-Rayner said she would go with cloth diapers is that they save a lot of money over the life of a diapered child. And because there are no diaper services in the Beloit area, she said parents can just wash them at home.

Lyon-Rayner said cloth diapering is catching on in Beloit. Her store is the only location that offers items such as cloth diapers, Grovia biosoakers and other environmentally friendly baby items.

“We are the only one in a pretty huge radius where you can walk in and buy these items,” she said.

A Much Better Way opened in December in Beloit although Lyon-Rayner has been selling her natural products for babies and moms online since 2005.

The unique boutique offers cloth diapers as well as disposable diapers, diaper covers, baby carriers (worn by a parent), detergents, natural motherhood jewelry for mom and baby as well as bath and body products for both, birthing gowns for moms for in-hospital or at home use and non-toxic toys.

For more information visit http://greatclothdiaperchange.com or visit the “A Much Better Way” Facebook page or call the store at 608-362-2422.

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