Write to your Council using our Template
Below's a template you could use to write to your council to ask for workshops for cloth nappies and incentives such as rebates or subsidies. Remember if you don't ask, you won't get!
Copy and paste it onto a Word document or on notepad on your phone. Fill in your details in the areas required and most importantly write about your own story about how cloth nappies have helped you. Then go to your council's website and find the contact us page. Copy and paste the edited version and send it.
On the council's website you will find the local councillors and their email addresses - send them a copy but address it to them personally.
More people you send this letter to better it is. Unfortunately doing online petitions don't usually work as anyone can sign them..so best going through this method.
If you know a few friends doing cloth nappies (think mothers group, play group, day care or from your library baby/todder sessions) send them this link and get them to do the same as you.
Offer to help, maybe you can do a photo shoot with your child in nappies or appear in videos to talk about your journey that they can use for promotions, maybe you can be the presenter for workshops or organise cloth nappy meet up where councillors, waste officers and other parents can be invited to attend to learn about the benefits of cloth nappies.
Remember government agencies need time to have their meetings and get funding. It may take upto a year for them to get it off the ground. So after 3 months, 6 months and then 9 months check with them to see if there's anything in the pipelines. If not - just keep writing especially since councillors, waste officers and managers you wrote to initially may not be there any more.
Good luck and let me know how you went!
<Your Name><123 Your Street
Your City, State, Postcode
Ph: (123) 456-7890
<Date Month Year>
Name of Waste Officer/Local Councillor
Your Local Council
123 Address St
Anytown, ST 1234>
RE: REUSABLE CLOTH NAPPY INCENTIVES FOR RESIDENTS
Dear Mr/Ms Surname,
My name is <insert your personal story about cloth nappies and how it has helped you or how it will help you and your family>
Climate change and sustainability are big issues in our local and global community. As our population grows, so does our waste. With population growth and movement, <insert local council> now has a significant percentage of children under the age of two. Almost all of those children use nappies. On average a child goes through 6-8 nappies a day. Newborns go through 500 nappy changes in their first 6 weeks of life. On average, a child goes through 6000 disposable nappies before they toilet train.
Cloth nappies have made a recent resurgence due growing environmental consciousness and parents wanting to save money. They are sustainable and given they can be used for the entirety of a child’s nappy time until toilet training, they are cheaper in the long run. They can also be used for multiple children to save even more money.
However the start up costs, along with a lack of education and knowledge about washing, fitting and how they work are main challenges for parents thinking about switching. Modern cloth nappies (MCNs) generally cost between $15 - $35 per nappy. When it’s recommended that you have at least 24 nappies for full time use it can be a hurdle for some families starting out. Particularly when all the other costs for a new baby is also added in like for pram, cot, clothing and formula.
As a local resident and parent, I propose that <insert Local Council> commence three initiatives to support families in using cloth nappies.
First, run education seminars or workshops about cloth nappies in person or online. There are a number of individuals and businesses that provide this service that you could use such as The Nappy Guru in WA or Cloth Nappy Workshops Melbourne in VIC or Nappy Lane in NSW.
Second, provide a financial incentives like rebates to try cloth nappies using a nappy library hire service or to purchase nappies. These financial incentives are being already offered in various progressive councils around Australia eg City of Vincent in WA City of Melville and City of Casey in VIC. and I believe it is time <insert your local council> also got on board. Read about the Wagga Council’s success story from the introduction of the rebates for nappies and period products along with workshops here.
Third, Ensure that parents have information available at prenatal and antenatal classes via their maternity hospitals, midwives and Child health nurses so that parents are presented with an option other than disposable nappies like the City of Woolongong council who estimates it’s saved 700,000 disposable nappies this way!
I firmly believe that these initiatives would significantly assist in reducing waste and support young families in <insert local council> and have great environmental and cost benefits in the long run.
I am looking forward to hearing from you regarding any plans you already have in the pipelines for reusable cloth nappy incentives for residents. Please contact me if you need any assistance to get these initiatives off the ground or to provide feedback about my experience in using cloth nappies.
Thank you and best regards,
Links to just a few local councils who offered or is currently offering workshops, subsidies &/or rebates to promote the use of cloth nappies within their communities:
5.Shire of Augusta and Margaret River:https://www.amrshire.wa.gov.au/library/file/2Services/07%20HouseholdWaste/Cloth%20Nappy%20Subsidy%20Application.pdf