What weighs 1.7 million pounds, is wrapped in plastic and smells like crap? **Drum roll** The amount of disposable diapers that are thrown away in Marion County, Oregon every month. Yes, you read that right. 1.7 million pounds a month of disposable diapers are thrown away in Marion County according to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality waste assessment data from 2016.
If you are a parent or if you’ve ever wandered past the diaper aisle in the grocery store, you also know that diapers are not cheap. In fact, a single-child household could spend around $50 a month on diapers. And depending on how quickly your child potty trains, you could be spending that for 2-4 years! That could be $2,400 on diapers alone before a child is potty trained.
The goal of Salem Cloth Project is not only to reduce waste, but to help families in need to reduce the financial burden associated with purchasing disposable diapers. For many families in our community $50/month could mean the difference between dinner and diapers. SCP wants to insure no family has to face that dilemma.
SCP hand makes and sells reusable products and uses a portion of their proceeds to support our mission by purchasing cloth diapers for families in need. But in order to help more people, SCP has partnered with the non-profit Salem Environment Education (SEE) to apply for a grant through the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Materials Management program. And last week, DEQ announced that SCP and SEE was one of seventeen organizations to receive grant funding.
Over the course of the next year, SCP and SEE will receive $15,070 from DEQ. Here is what those funds will support:
- Provide 100 cloth diaper kits to the Salem community
- A set of 16 cloth diapers
- A set of cloth wipes
- A diaper pail
- Wet bags & diaper pail liners
- Provide participating families with education & training on how to use cloth diapers
- Outreach at local events about using cloth diapers
- Develop resources & toolkits for families interested in using cloth diapers
This project has the potential to eliminate thousands of pounds of disposable diaper waste and support local families at the same time. This will be a HUGE undertaking – but we are ready for the challenge!
If you’re interested in getting involved and supporting our project, visit www.salemclothproject.org/pages/volunteer to find out more information about how you can help!