Toasted Earth

Earth Baby: Sara Comden

August 04, 2021 Michelle Cunningham Season 1 Episode 10
Toasted Earth
Earth Baby: Sara Comden
Show Notes Transcript

This episode features Sara Comden, the Head of Marketing at Earth Baby. Earth Baby aims to eliminate disposable diapers and wipes from Bay Area landfills. They provide a diaper service that delivers compostable diapers and picks up the dirty ones each week to be composted into topsoil.

Michelle and Sara discuss why compostable diapers are better for your baby, the wastefulness of traditional disposable diapers and why you need a composting service to handle your compostable diapers safely.

Relevant Links:
https://earth-baby.com/


Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/toastedearth)

Michelle Cunningham:

Hello and welcome to the Toasted Earth podcast a show about founders, visionaries, and environmentalists pursuing novel ideas and sustainability to, ultimately, save the Earth. I'm your host, Michelle Cunningham and for today's episode we have Sara Comden the Head of Marketing at Earth Baby. Earth Baby aims to eliminate disposable diapers and wipes from Bay Area landfills. They provide a diaper service that delivers compostable diapers and picks up the dirty ones each week to be composted into topsoil. Sara's experience as new mother led her on a deep dive into diapers that resulted in her actually joining the team of the best eco-conscious, baby and parent friendly diaper solution she could find, Earth Baby.

Sara Comden:

Like most first time, parents, I never really thought about the topic of diapers prior to prepping for the arrival of my own baby. in utero, my husband and I found out that my son only had one functional kidney. And that kind of is common, actually more than I ever knew. One in 10 babies, mostly boys are afflicted with us. Yeah, it's kind of crazy. And so we were freaked out. Of course, as you can imagine, being first time parents and you know, you're worried about everything, and you want to make the best decisions for your kids, especially health wise. So that kind of brought us to a point where we, we just were started diving into diapers, we really realized that we didn't want any, any kind of issues with diaper rash, or skin issues that could possibly lead to a UTI. Or it's not very common for those things to happen. But we were just to really hyper scared of that. And I've always been into the environment and wanting to do the best thing anyways. But this really pushed us more towards that. And so we just didn't want any possibility of any kind of issues in that area. So So then we started investigating diapers. And what we found was extremely alarming. As you can imagine, there were very few options and is almost prehistoric in industry that was prehistoric, the dietary methods were kind of stuck in the 80s and unhealthy plastic diapers flooding the market. And not only were these pipes, these diapers were are the third most common thing you find in a landfill. But they're there for 500 years, and they're toxic for your baby's skin. They're loaded with chemicals, and fragrances and plastics, which are now proven to be interfering with our baby's hormones.

Michelle Cunningham:

Oh, really?

Sara Comden:

All of which are, yeah, it's crazy. So and you'd have those microplastics everywhere, at this point, and in our bodies and everything. So we're just beginning to find out what the problems are with these plastics in our environment, and us ingesting them, basically. So a lot of these fragrances and chemicals and plastics, sprayed skin issues that can cause diaper rash. So for us, regular plastic diapers were not an option. And then, of course, then there's cloth diapers, which we didn't choose for two reasons. Most families I know that went the cloth route just continue to because not because of the time time constraints or the messiness or the inconvenient factors but because you get a lot of diaper rash from cloth diapers, and it's because babies don't cloth is not an efficient means to sopping up moisture and and you know, excrement and all that stuff. So it's a it causes diaper rash, and they don't. And because cough diapers are a two part system, so you have the cloth diaper insert, and then over at you have a plastic cover, they don't breathe. So kind of crazy things that you wouldn't think about right? And then of course cloth is super inconvenient. You can't use them at your daycares. You can't, you know, you can't, it's hard to travel with them. You got to wash them all the time. So that basically took away the cloth diapers for us. Also in the Bay Area, there are no more cloth services to come to your house once a week and pick up your dirties and wash them.

Michelle Cunningham:

Why is that? What happened?

Sara Comden:

You know, they they lost the facility where they wash their diapers. So that's part of their major business. And that was taken away and they're trying to move into the compostable diaper route that Earth baby has been doing. But yeah, so all of a sudden, no cloth services for your diapers. Now your if you are wanting to do that, as a parent, you have to do them at home.

Michelle Cunningham:

I have a young son he's 20 months now, I have another on the way and we did the disposable diapers despite, I hate it, like it's painful every time throwing it in the garbage can I just feel like I'm doing a bad thing. But the cloth diapers the problem for us is we're already like, overwhelmed as parents and figure everything out and like feeling time constraints that adding this other thing would be like, Oh, I don't know if I'm ready for that right now. Like, we'll just do the thing, which I imagine is how a lot of parents feel. I didn't even really think about the diaper rash aspect of that, but that's really interesting. Like diapers kind of suck it away, right? It's like, suck the moisture away and, like, hide it.

Sara Comden:

Exactly why they're so popular. You know, they're, you know, that's why they're so good at what they do. And people just even though they're so bad in the environment, people just can't give it up. You know, because it's, it's, it's a lifesaver most of the time, right? But yeah, cloth is there's a lot of, you know, good and bad about cloth. But there's also a lot a lot of bad that people don't realize. So. Yeah, it's the skin issues a big deal

Michelle Cunningham:

With your son, were you able to find a better diaper alternative at the time?

Sara Comden:

Yeah, so we basically so then we were investigating compostables and talk about misleading and false advertisement because many of these diapers that say that they're compostable, or not compostable. They have ingredients in them that are not compostable. They have skin irritations, irritants like chemicals and other things in there, and a lot of plastics so and what they don't tell you that is even if you do find a compostable diaper, that is compostable, you can't put them in the green bin you have to actually have them serviced by a specific compost facility that will take the those diapers and treat them separately than regular compost. So So there there was that right. And then then of course, we found Earth baby. And, of course, hands down. We went, we went with it immediately.

Michelle Cunningham:

Well and then you decided to like actually join Earth baby and be a part of their team.

Sara Comden:

Exactly. I I basically found them and I was like, This is so cool, guys, like, how can I help you I'd do anything to help and spread the word because I first of all, didn't know there was such a big deal with diaper wastes and issues with landfill waste. Because you don't even come into contact with that, or even bother researching that until you're about to have your own child. And then you look at it and you're like, Oh my god, this is insane. But yes, then that's how I reached out to them. And the rest is history, really. So I love it. I love think it's an amazing company. And they're the first company in the world to do this. So we're hoping we can expand and open more and just make it mandatory. No more plastic diapers,

Michelle Cunningham:

I would love to hear a little bit about why disposable diapers going to landfill are such a big problem. What is the actual impact of that right now?

Sara Comden:

Well, so consider the amount of diapers a child will go through in the span of three years, which three years is approximately how long it takes for the average child to be potty trained. And of course, it can go longer and go up to five years, pull ups and all that stuff. And yeah, every kid's on their own path, right, you can't force to be potty trained. There's obviously some tactics and ways that you can help with that and train. But you know, one day it'll just click and your kid will be like, I'm just I'm done with diapers, or whatever it is. So usually about three years for this to happen. And you consider how many one child will go through, it's about 5500, on average, from age zero to three a total for per baby. And in California, there were in 2018, there were 455,000 babies born. So if you imagine that quantity all going into landfills, it's it's a pretty big problem. So that's a ton of diapers going straight to landfills. And no matter what type of diaper you use, it's going to go to a landfill. Even if it's a compostable diaper, it's still going to go to landfill, and they'll be there for 500 years. And the reason why landfills are so horrible is because even organic material doesn't break down in the landfill. Because there's a lack of heat, moisture and oxygen going into these squish blocks, right? Everything gets squished together, even like a banana pill would be in a landfill. You'd find it years and years and years later because it's just not breaking down.

Michelle Cunningham:

Is it because of the lack of oxygen, the anaerobic decomposition,

Sara Comden:

you've got it all of that heat, oxygen, moisture, all those things help break down organic material over time. You know, so that's part of that's part of the plastic pollution problem. It's the third most common thing you find in a landfill is a dirty diaper. If you consider I mean number one would be your plastic bottles, newspapers, things like that. But yeah, these items are they're not only polluting our life also they also entering our waterways and oceans and the diaper dilemma is a global issue.

Michelle Cunningham:

They enter our waterways, is that like the landfill, all the stuff in it decomposes really slowly and it leeches into the ground?

Sara Comden:

That and then also because we ship a lot of our garbage away out of this a lot of our garbage was to China who now they're not taking our garbage anymore. They're going into like beautiful countries like Bali, you know, I mean, Indonesia and all these beautiful countries are they're being all this trash is being shipped there and ends up in waters and just being polluted, polluted all over the place. So it's it's a it's a major problem. It really is.

Michelle Cunningham:

It's really unfortunate. We're so far removed from it. You like forget how much you're actually having a negative impact when you do these things. There's just, it's become like the just like the normal way to do stuff.

Sara Comden:

Yeah, just like pretend like there's not a problem. It's okay, because I'm doing it. I'm not doing it forever. And in the Bay Area, we're in such a little bubble here. We have so much I mean, there's, we divert 80% of our trash from landfills, that goes, it goes to compost or recycling only 20% goes to landfills in the Bay Area, which is huge. That's in San Francisco, specifically. But that's huge. And we're Yeah, there's just not many cities that even do composting at all, like LA County, I mean, no composting, I mean, it's insane. So, and about a third of the amount of the stuff that you find in landfills, is compostable material, and it can break down but they're not actually pulling it to the side and servicing it, and treating it like that. They're just dumping them in landfills. So all that stuff is building up. It's crazy.

Michelle Cunningham:

Do you have any idea why other cities aren't doing it like San Francisco?

Sara Comden:

I think it's costly. Yeah, there are. So there are there are other cities doing it that right now they're saying about 198 cities or communities across 19 states are composting, but that's not a lot. I mean, considering we have 50 states, that's a very small amount. So there are in some states there are drop off places where that you can drop off your compost, but they are not like a municipal kind of system that's coming with garbage, like recology coming to pick up your, your compost and then servicing it. And then there's also independent people like, like people that are interested in the environment and trying to make change that will do services, but you have to pay for that. So you know, I'm sure it's just a it's a money issue. A lot of it is. The other thing is, in order to compost, you really need a lot of space, you need a lot of outdoor space, land is expensive. So these compost facilities need to be in like cheaper areas where it's harder, and things can break down. So yeah, it's I'm sure there's a huge, very complicated process involved as to why there aren't more. But things are changing in the last five years, the amount of compost, compostable services have doubled. So that's good. It was it used to be about 105 years ago, cities that were doing composting, and you can't compost your dirty diapers in your backyard, because it's totally unsafe, you have to keep you know, you have to hit 150 degrees for about 14 to 16 weeks in order for the soil to be safe. And, you know, used to reforestation, landscaping purposes. So, in order to maintain those conditions, everyone says, Oh, well do you know, I can do my backyard? Well, it doesn't really work that way, unfortunately.

Michelle Cunningham:

And they can't even put it in the green bin like you said.

Sara Comden:

They can't put it in the green bin.

Michelle Cunningham:

Yeah. So you need like a special facility will tell me how does Earth baby do it? Because that's what you guys do. Right?

Sara Comden:

Yeah. So basically come to your house once a week pick up dirty diapers, deliver new fresh diapers, and then bring them the dirties to our compost facility in Gilroy. So we we have a big warehouse space in Santa Clara, and everything's house there and a big bin until every three days it fills up to huge bin, and we truck it over to go right down to Gilroy. And what's what happens is there there's diapers are shredded, covered in soil, and they're put these big beds called add beds. So that basically acts like a greenhouse effect almost. And they're they're put in there with all the different microorganisms that help break down the ecoli and the bacteria in the in the human feces and waste. And then that soil sifted through it's aerated with these big tubes, that takes basically about it takes a 60 watt light bulb 30 seconds turned on for this process to occur to actually break down this material. So it's not, you know, everyone thinks, Oh, well how much energy does it take to do that or this or that. And I know you have to look at the full picture to see how your carbon footprint is affected and how to lower it and everything like that. But yeah, I mean the process is pretty incredible. And you can put your regular compost into this process but not the other way around. You know, so you can add regular food scraps to this and it does take a big area because it has to be done separately from regular compost so only a few facilities really specialize in this. Even though a lot of compost facilities have the license do this they don't actually do it because they just need a whole nother area to do it. So it's all about land and that's you know, and California is expensive.

Michelle Cunningham:

So, once it becomes broken down, you said it can be used for reforestation. Are there limits on where it can be used? Can you not use this for growing food?

Sara Comden:

They don't use it for growing food. Nope. Agriculture. Although it could be used for that, it's, I think it's something that's going to happen in the future. Our heads have to be there, you know, we can, most people can't even talk about poop, you know, like, it's a hard topic to talk about. So thinking, Oh, I'm gonna use my baby's poop and make a basil plant or something. It's just something that we're just not there yet. But for now, it's reforestation, landscaping roadside projects, which there's plenty of reasons for that. Yeah. So growing any kind of plants, it's not for agriculture.

Michelle Cunningham:

What's special about the actual diapers? Because they can't be made out of the same things as normal disposable diapers, right?

Sara Comden:

Right. So they're made out of plants, bamboo, wood, pull corn film, plastic, like things. So it's kind of like a, it's called Mater B. and it acts like a, are you familiar with bio bags? Or the big green?

Michelle Cunningham:

Yeah.

Sara Comden:

It's basically like there's one inside of there inside of a diaper, which is why it's breathable, and then you don't get diaper rash. It's also super absorbent. You don't get leaks. And they're just the great diapers. But then they also break down on top of that, which is really cool.

Michelle Cunningham:

So if you're signing up to use Earth Baby as your diaper composting service, you get the diapers through you?

Sara Comden:

Yeah, so you would basically create an account online. And it's we're trying to make it as easy and seamless as possible for parents, because as we know, they're not sleeping. They're tired. You know, and we try and encourage people to sign up when they're pregnant. Because after you're pregnant, and you're done, and baby's here, you're not sleeping, they're not sleeping, like it's a mess, right. So we try and say like, you know, by your third trimester, you should try and sign up with us. We'll deliver your first diapering supplies about two weeks prior to your baby's birthday, or due date, which is a soft due date. So we say two weeks prior, just because you never know what happens, especially the first time parents, the due date is just, you know, kind of there to possibly happen. So we get your diapers first and wipe service, set up your changing station. And then we don't start service until you're at home with baby. So you just let us know. Call us, email us. Hey, we just had our baby this weekend. We're ready to start service. And that's when we start.

Michelle Cunningham:

I'm going to try it out for thew new baby who is due...

Sara Comden:

Yay. So happy.

Michelle Cunningham:

In a little bit less than three months? Yeah, less than three months.

Sara Comden:

Oh my gosh, a 20 month old and then a new newborn? Whew. You're my champion. We're at one and done for me.

Michelle Cunningham:

Yeah, yeah, it's gonna be crazy. I probably shouldn't say this on the podcast, because I think it's gonna jinx it, but we're attempting to potty train my son starting this weekend.

Sara Comden:

Good for you.

Michelle Cunningham:

I hope it works. I think he's capable of doing it, but then we'll have one less diaper situation to worry about when new baby gets here. But I'm excited to try it. Because I think the cloth diapers would be a little bit much for how crazy our lives already are. And then we're adding another baby on top of it. But I do feel really bad every time I throw a diaper away.

Sara Comden:

Yeah, that's, you know, like the parents guilt is like, it's there for everything. It's like, why haven't heard diapers, you don't have to anymore? And it's Yeah, I think people think that, you know, it's gonna be so expensive. But I like to tell people that. So we can go through like the pricing actually right now. So elimination communication, which is something that you should take, because that you want to start potty training your child. It's something that you can use with any kind of diapering method, right. So basically, it's like, it's training your baby to use a toilet from birth, and making it a comfortable place, listening to their cues, watching them other cues as to when they're going to the bathroom and, and then you just grab them and you hover over them with the toilet, or the potty, or whatever you have. And this method is really probably the cheapest way to go is a lot of naked time at home. So that's what I recommend for you. Just take the diaper off, let them feel their bodies and know when they're starting to go to the bathroom or when they have the urge to do that. It's probably if you just use eliminate Google elimination communication and not any other diapering method that probably cost you 500 bucks, because you're still going to need some diapers when you go out. You're still going to need all that. But if you do a lot of naked time at home, there's a lot of accidents, but we have to be prepared for that. That'll be the cheapest way of diapering your child. And then there's cloth cloth costs anywhere from 1200 bucks in three years. With washing it at home or with the service. It could be 90 $500 in three years. It's very expensive with a service. Okay, so yeah, it gets crazy. And disposable diapers you'll spend anywhere from $3,000 to 60 $500 in three years. So that's a pretty wide range of which is why people use disposable diapers. I mean, they're you can buy them at any store, you throw them in the garbage can. It's convenient to travel, you know, go to any country and buy. And so that's why they use them. It's and it's a wide range of the different brands that are available. And then compostable divers with Earth baby, if you consider everything together a cost about 330 600 bucks in three years, people think, Oh, it's gonna be so expensive, like, doing the right thing for the earth is more expensive or something sustainable? like buying a Tesla? Yeah, it's expensive. But, you know, this doesn't have to be. And it's an I think there's a mis communication with our customers and with future prep parents that this is going to be a really expensive thing on top of what they're already paying for their baby, but it's not. So 3600 versus 3000, at the lowest amount of disposable diapers, it's it's not that expensive.

Michelle Cunningham:

And you can, you can feel better.

Sara Comden:

You feel better, and you don't have to go to the store. It's convenient. We come to your house, you never running out of diapers, you don't have to feel guilty about anything. And it's a better product for your baby. Because it's plants, and it's not covered and plastics. They breathe, you won't get diaper rash, no chemicals or anything. So I'm happy you're going to try it out. It's great.

Michelle Cunningham:

Yeah, I'm excited. So where are you guys? Only in the Bay Area? Are you available in other places as well?

Sara Comden:

Yeah, right now we're just the Bay Area, we are expanding, currently expanding. We just opened up one in Phoenix, Arizona. And we haven't we launched it. And we're not taking on any new customers at the moment. But within a couple of weeks, we will be so it's pretty much ready to go. We're just working out the kinks and make sure everything's ready to go so that we can kind of start using our Earth baby prototype here to kind of make some other locations and hubs, Phoenix and then hopefully, possibly, Nashville, maybe North Carolina, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, you know, all these big cities that were there definitely is demand and people. They want to do this, you know, they want a better choice for the environment and for their kids.

Michelle Cunningham:

Yeah, absolutely. I imagine it could work in like, any city, right?

Sara Comden:

Yeah. Yeah, that's the hope.

Michelle Cunningham:

Everyone's got babies in every city. They're all using diapers, well most of them are using disposable diapers. What kind of impact are you seeing Earth Baby have so far, in the Bay Area where you've been operating?

Sara Comden:

Let's see. I mean, our biggest impact probably is that we, you know, as of this week, Earth baby has diverted 9.2 million pounds of diapers from Bay Area landfills, that's a lot of diapers. And the third grade who this process is used, it's reused, it doesn't take a lot of energy to do that. So that's probably I mean, that would be I would think the biggest impact we're having. And also just parents just dropping the guilt and not feeling so horrible about diapering their child, you know, or given up to feel bad about in the future. So good. Let's take that one off the plate. So with the expansion, we're hoping that that we can get more we can be more available to other people in other cities, and maybe in other countries the future. So the two programs we offer, now that we've merged with our other with our diaper brand. It's called read diaper. And so there's a read diaper local. And then there's a read diaper national, the diaper local is basically the earth baby thing. So we come to your house, pick up the dirties once a week bring new diapers and compostable diapers. And that's what we opened up in Phoenix, just about a month ago, two months ago now. And then there's a diaper national and that is a mailing system. So that system is for people that will mail them their products, and then all their diapering supplies and materials. And then our families mail us back, the dirties. So we give them the bags to put it back in. They put everything back in there, and then they mail it back to us here in Santa Clara.

Michelle Cunningham:

Whoa, oh, I had no idea you were doing that. So I did want to ask you, why the merger with the diaper company, is that to be able to facilitate that.

Sara Comden:

Yeah, so it's definitely something we've wanted to do since our opening in 2008. We want to you know, we want to close the loop. It's it's important to us to be to offer the best best compostable diaper brand on the market. And then merge it with the the world's first and the best compostable diaper service. You know, they they know how to make their product and we know how to do our side and together it's like the best of both worlds. And we're able to keep the prices low for our customers make it as convenient as possible and just have other families that are located outside the Bay Area and give them the opportunity to use our service.

Michelle Cunningham:

I was imagining, your growth strategy as being, yeah, like going city by city. But now you have this whole other way that you could grow quickly via the mail.

Sara Comden:

Exactly. And it sounds weird to like mail on your diapers, that kind of thing. But people are there. I mean, you would think, oh, people aren't going to do that. But they totally are. And it's so inspiring to see that just to see it expanding like that. And hopefully, at some point, you know, even though we'll do the mail and things still, but we'll hopefully get to their city at some point. And we can actually service them, which is, which is ideally what we want to do, because it's it's the best way to do it. It's the lowest carbon footprint, you know, mailing everything in, right. And it's the easiest for the parents so that, you know, parents will have to go and bring that to the store the UPS Store and mail it in and have to make the effort to do that. Whereas if you have the service, it is it just they don't they don't have to think about it. Like it's just, you know, it's totally seamless. And it just tournament, you just don't think about anything anymore.

Michelle Cunningham:

It's great. Yeah, yeah. I mean, when you're picking it up, it's just so simple. Um, it definitely seems like mailing it would be like, the customer would have to be a little bit motivated there. They have to do extra steps to do it, but at least they have an option, whereas before, they probably had no option.

Sara Comden:

Exactly. So giving them the option. And you know, it is more expensive than our service. But that's because of all the mailing and stuff. So, unfortunately, that falls on them for the mealing and process. But if they're heavy boxes, it's you know, it's Yeah, it takes motivation, for sure. And to see that there are people out there doing that is makes us feel like oh my god, how cool, you know, yeah, aren't motivated, they're gonna do it. And it's excellent.

Michelle Cunningham:

Yeah, it's inspiring to see that people like really care, they really care about these problems. And when you present them with something that gives them an opportunity to do better, like, they'll take it and that's awesome. Yeah, you like, even in this case, where, as you mentioned, it does seem a little weird to, like, put a bunch of poop in a box and mail it over. Far, far away. But like, yeah, if not, you're sending it to t e landfill and when you reall think about that, that's basic lly putting something in just giant pile to just sit there for what, 1000 years or somet ing, however long it takes

Sara Comden:

500 plus years, they say but, you know, landfills haven't even been around that long. So we don't even know how long it could be more, you know? Yeah, we have no idea. And especially something that is compostable to put that in the landfill, to us is like, which is why we you know, so why the founders are to bury a father who started this company was because they were like, Why are there compostable diapers in the market, but they're just going straight to landfills are not getting composted? It's like, what? Totally doesn't make any sense, right. So why isn't there a surface to do this? And that's kind of how Earth Baby was b

Michelle Cunningham:

Is there an education problem there with the compostable diaper? Like, do people know that they cannot put them in the green bin?

Sara Comden:

Some know, some kno , but I mean, and if they go n the green bin, those are ju t all that's going to be pulle , the whole entire bag will e pulled out and put in o landfill? Because they cann t deal with human feces. So but I think yes, that's one of o r major problems is educating t e public and educating people a d first time parents, you know, e have such a small window to o that. I mean, you consid r you're pregnant for nine month , right? And when you really, y u know, the first part of it s like, I'm not really pregna t Mom, I got a really reserve, I can get away with not showi g for a little bit longer. A d then the third trimester hi s and that's kind of when y u start doing the classes and a l that stuff, right and getti g kind of pumped and motivate , like okay, it's really comin . And so we have such a sma l window to educate people. A d that's, that's part of t e problem. It definitely i

Michelle Cunningham:

Just thinking of myself, I'd be like, yeah, I'll buy the compostable diapers. And then it would be after the fact I'd be like, wait what am I gonna do with thes ?

Sara Comden:

Yeah and honest y, I mean, the compostable di pers are a better product fo the baby because you're not pu ting your there's a plastic t at's such a your baby kin, hopefully, some products do this thing called greenwashing here they say, Oh, it's compos able or organic or it's this or that and then it's not right. S but hopefully you're hoping that that you know, the research done for you that you that y u're using a compostable product but then to find out that we l, I can't even compost it. So w at's the point? But it is till better for your baby. So I ould say yeah, definitely compos able diapers over plastic diaper . If you have to choose bu and you're not going to us the service, it's still it's till going to be a better pro

Michelle Cunningham:

Yeah. Well, you mentioned before, there's these plans to go to other cities also like the the shipping, new way to do the composting service. What do you think are the challenges that could get in the way of making that expansion happen making this become a service that like many people have access to?

Sara Comden:

Sure. Well, number one, education, like you said, I think it's really important to get them while they're pregnant. And because otherwise, you know, they're tired, they're not going to research things, they're, you know, that's just the way it goes, right? You're just exhausted here and new parents. So definitely, education is number one. Number two, which we already talked about was the stigma surrounding poop, we need to open up a conversation about this, right? Like, it's everyone does it every, you know, let's talk about this, right. And once we can do that, then I feel like people get a little bit more comfortable with talking about the stuff. The price, the price is also another thing that I think is a huge, just changing their mind about sustainability in general, that it triggers is more expensive, right? Like, even you know, I'm doing something good for the environment has to be double the price, you know, but it just doesn't have to be. So trying to educate people that buzz is, is key to that formula, and making it work. A lot of people find us the earth baby, not just like on an internet search, but they thought they find this through friends, you know, friends and family. And oh, we use the service was great. And it's so cool to see that word of mouth thing actually working and happening. And that's another thing is when parents are expecting they, they really only listen to their friends and family. And there's very few, I mean, some go to classes and birthing centers or, you know, through through their hospitals that they're going to give birth to at birth at. So you really need to trust an advisor. And a lot of the times that's how people communicate when they're expecting, but they don't research a lot of stuff. So it's kind of a double edged sword, right? We're trying to figure it all out. But those are definitely the challenges for sure.

Michelle Cunningham:

Yeah, I totally get that like that last one. Because, yeah, you kind of like there's people around you you trust. And so you just like, take their advice? No. Oh, they did that. And their kid turned out fine. Right there. Okay.

Sara Comden:

Right, and that every baby's the same, every baby is different. So one could have a rash to this and one doesn't. So you just have to kind of you got to try a couple different things and be flexible, right? You got to be flexible. And hey, this didn't work. I'm gonna try this thing or, you know, yeah, like everybody's got their own their own timeline, and what they're doing their own health issues. And so,

Michelle Cunningham:

yeah, they're all totally unique. I was just thinking when you were, we're talking about the friends thing. This would be kind of a cool gift at a baby shower, to say like, hey, here, here's like, six months of service or something. And they like all these like compostable diapers, that would be a pretty neat get.

Sara Comden:

Yeah, so we offer gift cards and gift certificates. And yes, I agree. Like, instead of, you know, a lot of people for baby showers, they give like a pack of diapers or they bring diagnodent brings a pack of diapers or something. Well, instead of doing that, maybe a gift card to Earth baby where you're doing something that's compostable, that helps the parents out, they don't have to go to the store anymore. They can use the gift card for anything they want on our online store. So it doesn't have to be diapers and wipes. But we offer earth friendly other products such as like sunblock and baby baby cream, and all that sort of Wash, wash washer, fluid and all that stuff. So thing products, but they can use it towards anything or service, whatever they want.

Michelle Cunningham:

Well, how can our listeners help? Is there anything they can do to help either your company be more successful, or at least addr ss the mission that you guys are trying to fix?

Sara Comden:

I mean, listeners can help by and anybody can help by just educating their their future generations or future families. And but again, that's it's such an important piece of the puzzle, the education part, and then just you know, making an effort to try and be more sustainable and lower your carbon footprint and also just researching like researching the products that you put on your baby. And unfortunately, the US is is not very good at regulating products for for everybody. Right? So Europe is much better at doing this. They have a much more strict policy, and especially for baby products. I think that that is the most important, right, we shouldn't be putting this toxic stuff on our babies. So just research, do your due diligence research, what products are going to use for your kids, for and for yourself, of course, and You know, drain, drain educate others once you do that?

Michelle Cunningham:

Well, before we sign off, we like to end every episode with a toast to the earth. What do you hope for our planet's future?

Sara Comden:

Change, we definitely want change. And it's a slow change, right? It's not gonna happen overnight. But this country carelessly dispose of so much waste that can be composted. So I think it would be nice to see those things changing more more composting facilities around the country, more municipal servicing, curbside servicing, that would be great. The, like I said, that's a third of organic materials, what you find in landfills, and it's totally unnecessary, it can be reused and turned into soil. So that's probably one of the most important thing that we'd like to see change. And it's going to have to change from the top down. Like we need regulation. We need government programs and a lot of things passed. It's got to start with them, right. So like the no straw thing in San Francisco and the compostable no more plastic bags and, and the soda, soda tax and all those things need to happen and they seem small, but in the large scope of everything, it's gonna start pushing for more regulation. And that's what we need. They're starting to in France and Paris, France, they are making it mandatory for daycare centers to use compostable diapers with a service. So the government's doing this and that's huge, right? So it's a matter of time till we do it here. It'd be it would be nice to see some effort put towards that.

Michelle Cunningham:

Thanks for listening to the show today. If you love this show, please leave us a review wherever you listen to podcasts. You can learn more about Earth Baby by visiting earth-baby.com that's e-a-r-t-h ash b-a-b-y dot com. Or visit ur show notes a toastede rth.com for more links and etails about this episode. If ou're currently working on an dea, company, nonprofit or ovement to benefit the nvironment, send us an email nd hello@toastedearth.com we wo ld love to hear from you. Raise a glass to the earth everyone. t's the only one we've got