|Human milk is produced and
delivered to the consumer without any pollution, unnecessary packaging
or waste. Most of the focus on the environmental effect of newborns is
concentrated on the debate between cloth vs. disposable diapers, but the
environmental consequences of formula feeding have far greater impact.
Large amounts of water, fuel, paper, glass, plastic and rubber are
required in the production, shipping and preparation of formula.
Additionally, formula feeding produces significant amounts of solid
waste. Substituting cow’s milk for human milk is costly, causes waste
and uses valuable resources. For example, each year in the US, over half
a million women formula feed their babies from birth. If just these
mothers breastfed for a full year (with solids introduced after six
months), these valuable resources would be saved:
|25 million pounds of steel
from formula cans|
|2.5 million pounds of paper|
|2.5 million pounds of HDPE
from plastic milk containers|
|27 million gallons of milk,
requiring 465 million pounds of dairy feed to produce|
|6 million gallons of oil for
production, transportation and refrigeration|
|135 million pounds of carbon
dioxide produced by the use of those 6 million|
|gallons of oil, requiring
35,000 acres of forest to absorb|
Baumslag, N. and Michels, D., Milk, Money & Madness: The Culture
and Politics of Breastfeeding. Bergin & Garvey, Westport, CT,
Motherwear. Business Unusual. Northampton, MA, 2000.
Online at: www.motherwear.com.
Reprinted with permission from Breastfeeding at
a Glance, By Dia L. Michels and Cynthia Good Mojab, M.S.with Naomi
Bromberg Bar-Yam, Ph.D. Platypus Media, 2001, ISBN: 1-930775-05-9.
information, visit www.PlatypusMedia.com or call 1-877-PLATYPS