Cloth nappy record bid to raise awareness

Jo Nickson with Nathaniel and Holly and Emily Wood with Maisie. Picture: Toby Williams
Jo Nickson with Nathaniel and Holly and Emily Wood with Maisie. Picture: Toby Williams
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PARENTS will be hoping to make a change for the better – as they take part in a record-
breaking simultaneous nappy challenge.

The Great Cloth Nappy Change, which is being monitored by Guinness World Records across 285 hosts in seventeen countries, is also hoping to raise awareness of the benefits of 
reusable nappies during Real Nappy Week.

Edinburgh’s event, which will be taking place at the Parish Centre of St Mary’s Cathedral, has been organised by Changeworks, an environmental charity which counts converting parents from disposable to reusable nappies among its aims.

Thanks to the Changeworks Edinburgh and Lothians Real Nappy Project 572 tonnes of waste – the equivalent of 47 of Lothian Buses’ “hybrid” number 10 double-deckers – have been diverted from landfill sites since 2010.

Leslie Dible, Changeworks real nappy and waste prevention co-ordinator, said: “Cloth nappies are a lot easier to use than most people think. Disposable’s only really came on the market in the 1980s, but parents managed just fine before them. The average baby will have their nappy changed 4000 times before being fully toilet-trained – that’s roughly 120 black bin bags full of nappies.”

In an effort to encourage parents to give reusables a try, Changeworks offers “Nappuccino” events across the city where parents can ask questions and see demonstrations.

Leslie said: “The Nappuccino events are now oversubscribed every month. It’s far, far cheaper to use cloth nappies. We estimate they save the average family roughly £500. We also offer trial packs so people can give them a try before splashing out on a set. Plus, many people are far more aware of the damage disposable nappies do to the environment.”

It is estimated that the average disposable nappy is rather less disposable than the name may suggest – taking as many as 600 years to properly biodegrade.

Jo Nickson, 39, who lives on Easter Road with her husband, Ross Spalding, 41, will be taking part in this year’s event with son Nathaniel, seven months, after taking daughter Holly, two, along last year. The mental health nurse, who is currently on maternity leave, said: “The event was such good fun last year I thought we’d go back and hopefully help break last year’s record when 8251 babies were changed worldwide.

“I grew up in cloth nappies – that’s all there was – so just before Holly was born I went along to one of the information sessions and got one of the lending bags to try. I’m not sure why everyone thinks using cloth nappies is so difficult – there are much more difficult things about children! I’ve used them with both my kids and the ones I got were secondhand, so between the two children I think I’ve saved £1000-£2000.”

For more information about the cloth nappies, or if you wish to take part in the Great Cloth Nappy Change, contact realnappies@
changeworks.org.uk or call 0131-555 4010.