Donna Gumprich

Setting a world record one baby bum at a time

Baby bums. A whole lot of baby bums.

Baby bums. A whole lot of baby bums.

That’s what Donna Gumprich wants to see in her eco-friendly store on April 23.

Gumprich, owner of All Things Being Eco, is hosting Chilliwack’s contribution to the Great Cloth Diaper Change, a worldwide event that’s vying for a spot in the Guinness World Records. So far she’s got 10 bums lined up, but she needs 25 in order to be counted.

The Great Cloth Diaper Change is an event that was organized in conjunction with Earth Day by cloth diaper enthusiasts to raise awareness around the mounds of disposable diapers stacking up in the landfills, and to show the world that cloth diapers can be a viable option for today’s families.

“This is about keeping our landfills free of disposable diapers,” said Gumprich, who had both her kids, now adults, in cloth diapers.

Disposable diapers sit in landfills for hundreds of years before breaking down.

The average baby goes through a conservative 3,000 diapers a year, times that by three years, and just one baby alone is contributing to at least 9,000 disposable diapers ending up in the landfills.

According to Environment Canada, more than four million disposable diapers are discarded per day in Canada; that’s approximately 1.7 billion a year.

And while cloth diapers also contribute to greenhouse gases with the energy consumption used to dry them, it doesn’t compare to the mess in the landfills, said Gumprich.

“A lot of people think they can’t really make a difference, what can one person really do? But every one person adds up.”

However, even though cloth diapering used to be the norm, they now have an “ick” factor attached to them. Many parents look at cloth and see messy, leaking, dirty diapers – that they have to clean. They don’t want to deal with the rinsing and scraping, or the added laundry.

“So many parents think that using cloth diapers is so troublesome and problematic, that it’s not worth the effort,” said Gumprich. “But really, it’s just a matter of getting yourself into a routine. You’re already doing laundry every day or every second day when you have a baby, and you’re already cleaning dirty diapers.”

Cloth diapers have come a long way since the 1950s. No longer are they the big rectangular sheets of cotton that required a skilled fold and safety pins to keep in place.

Now, there’s pre-folded cloth diapers, fitted cloth diapers, one-size-fits-all cloth diapers, and all-in-one cloth diapers that come with an attached plastic cover. And there’s snaps and velcro and hook and loop closures.

“Pins are basically non-existent with cloth diapers these days,” said Gumprich.

“They’ve made it so easy, there really is no reason not to do cloth.”

Up-front, cloth diapers do appear to be an investment, setting a parent back approximately $700 for three dozen plus cover pants, while a bag of disposables can be as low as $17.95 for 44. That cloth investment, however, is a one-time investment, while that disposable cost goes on and on. Disposables can cost a parent at least $1,300 a year, $3,900 for three years.

“There’s a huge difference in savings between disposable and cloth diapers,” said Gumprich.

“Cloth diapering truly is a viable option for today’s parents.”

Which is exactly what organizers of the Great Cloth Diaper Change hope to show parents at the event.

To set the record, the event needs a minimum of 250 participants.

The Guinness World Records’ guidelines state that because this is a multi-venue event, there must be a minimum of 10 venues, each hosting a minimum of 25 participants. So far, there are over 400 locations worldwide.

In Chilliwack, the event starts at 9 a.m. on April 23 at All Things Being Eco. A donation of $1 is required to participate, which goes to the Real Diaper Association.

Participants must register before the date, and must bring their own cloth diaper.

Only children under three feet three inches are allowed.

For more information, contact Donna Gumprich at 604-824-9442 or visit the website www.greatclothdiaperchange.com

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