Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Duggars: Not As Eco-Threatening As I Originally Thought

Originally when I had the thought to write about the Duggars, I reflected on their carbon footprint and frankly I viewed them quite negatively. After doing a little research into their lives I discovered that although they aren’t as eco-conscious as I would like everyone to be, they are taking steps.

The Duggars may buy reused items to save money, but they are also making a huge impact on the environment considering that they are now a family of 20. Michelle Duggar said on her website,
“We have lived very frugally, and our family motto is to “Buy used and saved the difference!” We shop at thrift stores and garage sales.”

My biggest issue obviously is their disposable diaper use. According to Discovery Health, the estimated number of Duggar diapers to date is 90,000. 90,000 diapers! Whoa! That is a lot of poop and pee that is still in our landfills and leaching into our water.

The Duggars like to be frugal, so lets talk money. If they spend $40 a month on disposable diapers, then their total costs to use disposable diapers so far are approximately $ 25,920. If they used cloth diapers and passed them down their cost would be around $1100. Their total financial savings with cloth diapers: $24,820

What if the Duggars took that $40 a month and instead of buying chemical laden disposable diapers, they invested it. The future value of $24,820 invested at 4% for 18 years is $50,280.77. That figure astounds me and I am baffled why anyone would not pay close attention to it.

On another note, Michelle Duggar said,
“I would say the greatest change that I have seen in the field of obstetrics, and I might add that it is very troubling to me, is the idea that once you’ve had a C-section you must have a C-section for any other pregnancy. It is much healthier for mom and baby to avoid major surgery and all the complications that go along with a C-section if possible. Granted, there are health situations that would warrant such, but for years obstetrics encouraged TOL (Trial Of Labor after previous C-section) with many successful healthy vaginal births. It was quite alarming to be told that I could no longer have a vaginal birth due to hospital or insurance companies regulations. It appears that what is best for the patient is not the priority with this decision. I feel our health care is being jeopardized by this unhealthy approach. Doctors are having to tell their patients that they no longer offer VBAC assistance due to hospital regulations and some might even state to the patient that they are not safe so as to avoid confrontation. Statistics prove much differently. For the many women that find themselves in this situation, ICAN is an organization that is very helpful in gaining more information on this topic. One of which I believe will be reversed in the near future as more women make a clear statement to health care providers and insurance companies as to how they would prefer to deliver there babies in a safer, healthier manner. (Now I will step off my soapbox!)”

You tell them Michelle, you’ve won major brownie points from me. I don’t think it’s too late for the Duggars to switch to reusable products, mainly diapers and dinnerware, and I truly hope that they make the switch. In the end, their babies will be healthier, the environment will be healthier and they will save money. Sounds like a win-win solution.


bernice said...

I have the same comments regarding the Duggars. You know, they live in the same area as Terra Tots. I've sent an email to them highlighting the benefits of using cloth response.
It's probably cheaper/easier to have the diapers donated by Pampers. Terrible, but true.

My earthy momma odyssey said...

Bernice! I send you to look at diapers and you read my rants, I love you!