If you've never been to a giant diaper-changing party, this weekend is your big chance.
At 5:30 pm GMT on Saturday -- just hours before Earth Day begins -- cloth diapering enthusiasts from around the world will gather in more than 300 locations to participate in the 2nd Annual Great Cloth Diaper Change. (This story has been updated. Scroll down for new information.)
Parents in neighborhoods across the country -- from New York's Upper East side to Sarah Palin's stomping grounds in Wasilla, Alaska -- will participate. Beyond the U.S., diapers will be changed en masse in Belgium, Malaysia, Chile, Estonia, Israel and 11 other countries.
The current record for concurrent cloth diapering, which these parents will try to break, was set at last year's Great Cloth Diaper Change, and stands at 5,026. And while that might sound like an awful lot, it's actually less than the total number of disposable diapers that the Real Diaper Association (RDA) estimates a family will go through by the time their baby turns 2.
For the RDA -- which helps to organize the Great Cloth Diaper Change -- the environmental and economic benefits of choosing cloth diapers are obvious. Contrast the thousands of disposable diapers needed to raise a child with the just over 70 cloth diapers a family would need for a new baby, and "the cost of cloth diapering is about one tenth the cost of disposables."
Of course, there's a reason many parents choose not to use cloth diapers. As Crappypictures.com blogger Amber Dusick frankly puts it, "the worst part about cloth diapering is that it means more laundry" -- more time, more work and more poop to clean up.
UPDATE: April 23, 6 p.m. -
There's no official word yet on whether this year's Great Cloth Diaper Change broke the record set last year -- but click through the following slideshow for dispatches from diaper parties all over the world:
Let us know how you feel about cloth diapering by taking our poll:
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