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Boonsboro business participates in cloth diaper awareness event

April 11, 2013|By MARIE GILBERT | marieg@herald-mail.com
  • Changing cloth diapers in rehearsal for the April 20th Guiness World Record attempt are left to right Katherine Gray and her daughter River, Miranda Marsh-McDonald and her daughter Reagan, Destini Boxall and her daughter Miami, and Erica Arendt with her daughter Nia.
Joe Crocetta /

BOONSBORO —
Cloth diapers are having a back-to-the-future moment.

Sure, 95 percent of American families who use diapers purchase the throw-away variety.

But as a result, says the Environmental Protection Agency, 3.5 million tons of used diapers are put in landfills each year and will take as many as 500 years to decompose.

Those are the kind of statistics that have many green-minded parents rethinking their choices.

And they're choosing cloth diapers.

"People definitely would consider cloth if they knew just how damaging to the environment disposable diapers are," said Jennifer Guenther.

But it's not just about protecting the Earth.

There are other positives, said Guenther, who believes cloth diapers are more economical and healthier than disposables.

Guenther, along with Susan McCarthy, is co-owner of Enkore Kids in Boonsboro.

The business, which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in June, originally opened in Frederick, Md., and moved to its current location in 2008. It specializes in new and used clothing, toys, baby-related equipment — and cloth diapers.

"Susan suggested that we start carrying them back in 2004," Guenther said. "We started with two brands in four small bins. It now takes up about 20 percent of our store."

But these aren't the diapers your grandmother struggled to get around her baby's bottom. They're 21st century, made by companies like Fuzzi Bunz and Happy Heinys.

Snaps and velcro have replaced safety pins and the diapers are fitted with elastic around the leg openings.

"We do carry safety pins for those who want to be old school," Guenther said. "But we honestly sell very few of those. And we no longer have the icky plastic pants.  Instead, the diapers are a water-proof PUL fabric and come in a rainbow of colors and assorted prints."

In an effort to support the use of cloth diapers, the store will be participating in The Great Cloth Diaper Change, an international event designed to increase public awareness of cloth diapers as a less expensive, more environmentally friendly and healthier alternative to disposable diapers.

The event will be from 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 20, in the basement of Trinity Lutheran Church, 64 S. Main St., in Boonsboro.

In addition to information and cloth diapering demonstrations, participants will join others around the world in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the number of babies changed into cloth diapers at the same time — 11 a.m. locally. At least 15 countries will be participating.

Guenther said this is the third year that the store has been a part of The Great Cloth Diaper Change.

"Susan cloth-diapered her kids and was always an advocate for cloth diapers," Guenther noted. "My child was already out of diapers when I found out about them.  But when we heard through the diapering boards that the Real Diaper Association was trying to increase cloth diaper awareness by getting into the Guinness Book of World Records, we knew we wanted to be a part of it."

Guenther said in 2011, "36 people participated locally and in 2012 we had 27, but weather definitely played a negative role. So far, this year we have 46 people preregistered. Most are within about an hour's drive of here, which matches most of our diapering customers. We're hoping for 50 participants this year, as we'll have an indoor location."

Each location must account for all participants by having a distinct changing area, she noted.

"We'll also have a couple of official witnesses and Debbie Smith, town manager of Boonsboro, will be serving as our head witness for the third year in a row," she added.

Guenther said there will be free goody bags with samples provided by local and national businesses and there also will be a silent auction, with proceeds going to create a local cloth diaper closet for those in need.

According to Guenther, more and more parents are turning to cloth diapers as a way to save money and keep their babies healthier.

In fact, according to Consumer Reports, companies that market cloth diapers have seen sales increases of 25 to 50 percent in the past few years.

"Cloth diapering can be done for as little as a few hundred dollars and can then be reused on other children, increasing your savings," she said. "Disposable diapers, on average, cost between $2,500 and $3,500 each year."

Guenther said cloth diapered children suffer less from diaper rash "since cloth is more breathable and doesn't contain chemicals. Also, cloth diapers are the choice for premature babies in hospitals because the off-gasses produced by disposables can be harmful to young lungs."



If you go ...

What: Great Cloth Diaper Change

When: 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 20

Where: Trinity Lutheran Church's basement, 64 S. Main St., in Boonsboro.

Persons interested in registering for The Great Cloth Diaper Change can visit www.enkorekids.com/gcdc

To be kept up to date on items being added to the goody bags and the silent auction, go to the store's Facebook page at facebook.com/boonsboromdclothdiapers


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