Are the diapers we throw away, harming the enviroment?
Are the diapers we throw away, harming the enviroment?
Like h3g3l said, not in the grand scheme of things, but yes, they are harming the environment. They cannot be recycled, so are being sent to landfill which is bad for the environment.
However, when if you compare occasionally wearing a diaper to, for example, driving a car the environmental cost of being an AB/DL would be quite low in comparison. Everything we do effects the environment to an extent, and whilst it is a good thing to take steps to limit the impact you have on the environment that doesn't mean you have to give up wearing diapers any more than you should give up using a computer or boiling the kettle.
Does it harm the environment? Yes it does. However the amount that AB/DLs throw away is just a drop in the ocean when you compare it to how many baby diapers are thrown away each year. It wouldn't surprise me if more baby diapers are thrown away per day than adult diapers (at least the ones thrown away by AB/DLs) per year, hundreds (or even thousands) of times over as well.
Well, they're not harming the ozone layer much, but as for being waste and polluting the planet, yes diapers in general do. Currently because of containing bio waste, paper and plastic, plus rubber they are a difficult product to recycle.
if they ever find ways of ridding them of the urine and poo in them, and then somehow rip them apart by each material, then yes, maybe they could be recycled, but for now it's not easy.
There's good evidence to suggest that cloth diapers are not really that much more economical than disposables. A little, but not significantly. They simply use different resources.
A 35 square mile landfill, 100 yards deep, could fulfill all of America's landfill needs for the next thousand years (of course, nobody is suggesting to make one giant landfill). This also discounts the possibility that more economical means will be found for the use of trash, or perhaps recycling methods for things that currently are trash.
Landfills are fairly economical - when finally closed, they are usually turned into public parks, or a nature preserve, things like that. Something of good use. Trees/shrubs planted, etc, all that. Landfills are not "bad" for the environment. Many even capture the gasses released through the installed vents and burn them for fuel to create energy. There is simply just no truth to the idea that landfills are "bad" for the environment. Not in a general sense - I am sure I or anyone else could find an example of a landfill that was poorly placed (too close to water table, maybe?), ignored regulations, etc.
90% of you would probably never recognize a modern landfill if you walked into one. They're clean. The bad publicity they get is before they cover up the trash.
There are more trees in America today than at any time in the past - strictly due to logging needs. Wood pulp for diapers being a small part of that. Tree farms are harvested and replanted. We aren't running into the forests you are accustomed to seeing, clear-cutting the entire area, and leaving the remains to rot.
The "landfill crisis" is an entirely invented construct. There is more than enough space to provide our landfill needs for CENTURIES. And they can be useful, too.
The methane from this place is used to create power for around 10,000 homes.
I'd wager an estimate of 1/week as being a ridiculously liberal estimate, as well, given the scores of teenagers unable to wear due to living at home with parents, the long periods of time many go between wearing due to binge/purge cycles.
Mandating recycling is a horrible idea, given that such legislation usually backfires and creates the opposite effect (seriously, what PD on the planet would even be capable of enforcing that?). Actual recycling benefits for some materials are dubious, at best - and are almost always very costly to communities.
Oh for god's sake. That's ridiculous hyperbole. You may as well say existing is "bad for the environment." None of that even dignifies a response. What are you suggesting we do, live in trees and shit in the woods? Trash exists. Landfills are a remarkably well-developed method of dealing with trash...as one might expect.To say landfills are NOT bad for the enviroment is TOTALLY ridiculous. I dont know of ANY waste disposal company who uses enviromentally friendly garbage trucks and heavy machinery used to move all that garbage. You are killing the enviroment inorder to build the landfill, killing all the wildlife that lives in and above the ground, then the area has to be monitored for ever, and all runoff needs to be collected, trasnported, processed. Then you figure all the methane gas that is released into the atmosphere. Even if they do build a park ontop of all that trash, even if it looks clean and smells clean, that might be better then having it all exposed, but to say that it is not bad for the enviroment is totally not even close to being true!
Try one thousand years. And all that trash...from ONE THOUSAND YEARS of human existence...that would take up a single square area, 35 miles on each side, and 100 yards deep - which can then be covered up and re-purposed. So, um, yeah, it's probably going to be a few millennium before there even begins to be a space issue...and I say that quite hesitantly.its totally invented, ha, your saying that it is totally invented, because it there is enough space to last centuries, so when exactly does the crisis start, in a few centuries? To say it is not a problem because it wont affect my generation, we will just let the future generations deal with this...
We can't control foreign countries. We CAN control what WE do, however.You will be able to find the sorce for SOME places that are able to use methane and make some use of landfills, but I see many people are ignoring the fact that the world isnt all made of developed countries! All those developing countries, a majority of, that dont regulate landfills and just dump there trash, were all the runoff goes into lakes, streams, the ocean.
Last edited by Draugr; 05-Oct-2010 at 23:59. Reason: wrong stat - 35 mile sides, not 35 sq mi
On the other hand, when we dug up the ground to lay the Alaskan pipeline, it was an overwhelming benefit to natural wildlife - they sought out the warmth. They have moved their grazing and breeding grounds closer to such an "unnatural" part of their habitat.
Might it be, then, that the creation of a landfill might have multi-faceted affects on natural wildlife...or, gasp, even a net benefit? Consider the insect life that a landfill provides a habitat for. Some creatures are displaced, and must find new homes. Others are given a new home. One must look at the displaced species, and how successful they were at relocating...and the kinds of species - was it an overpopulated one? An underpopulated one? Similar things must be looked at the kinds of life provided for in the landfill as well.
Displacement is not necessarily "bad" for the environment. We move our cattle around from pasture to pasture to prevent them from completely stripping it of vegetation. Their manure provides fertilizer for future growth. This is a very artificial means of displacement, of course, but it merely meant as an illustration as to the possible benefits of displacement. It isn't necessarily a "bad" thing.
Consider that racoon populations have SKYROCKETED as a result of humans being 'bad for the environment.'
We evolved to have an almost miraculous level of intelligence, the ability to create and use tools...I would dispute the notion that we are "supposed" to be living in trees and shitting in the woods. We have the intellect and ability to create rather marvelous "habitats" for us - why on earth are we supposed to throw this away and pretend we don't have it? The wolf does not have this intellect, or the ability to use tools to manipulate his surroundings, or the abstract thought necessary to create, invent, have ideas. Why on earth should we live like him? That is nonsensical. We are "meant" to live in the structures that we have evolved the ability to create.
Last edited by Draugr; 06-Oct-2010 at 01:06.