Save the planet, don’t have more kids!
Deciding to have a child is not just a personal choice any more, argues Sally-Jane Cameron.
(Getty Images)
Starting a family, or add more kids to a family, is usually something that comes with a fair amount of thought and planning. There are many things that couples may take into account:

  • Finances. Having a baby and raising a child is very expensive, especially considering the cost of education. I know quite a few friends who would love more kids but the cost prohibits it.
  • For some people age is a consideration, both the age at which to start a family - many women may want to follow their careers first - and of course the age at which to stop.
  • Child spacing and the age gap between children can also influence how many kids you have.
  • Personal preference for a small or big family may come into the discussions.

What about the environmental impact of having children? Should this come into our discussions and planning?

A greener parent

Being a greener parent means I have made choices like using cloth nappies, buying second hand items, making food at home instead of using glass jars, recycling etc, but I must admit that given my green ideologies, I was rather good at patting myself on the back about doing my bit for the environment by being more natural with my kids.

I never really stopped to think that the very act of having children was adding to the problem. I have come across the idea of smaller families and that the current population rate is not sustainable, but it was not until I read a review for a book called Eco Sex by Stefanie Iris Weiss that I really thought about it a little deeper. In her book she talk about various ways to be more green in the bedroom, from buying local flowers, organic aphrodisiacs to wind-up sex toys, but her most controversial idea is the fact that the number one thing people can do for the environment is: To have fewer kids or better yet no kids at all.

9 billion on our planet

By 2040 the estimated world population will be reaching 9 billion; this is a huge number of carbon-producing individuals, far more than is viably sustainable with the resources we have. According to the United Nations the ultimate carbon offset is to have sex that does not result in producing more babies. That is a big responsibility to give to people, that the good of the planet outweighs our own primal desire to produce off spring. The fact is that the planet can not cope. The carbon foot print of one extra person far out-weighs all the other energy-saving efforts like changing light bulbs and other things we might do to appease our conscience and be greener.

I am not sure that I feel ready to declare myself finished having kids but do we all need to start looking at these issues more seriously and look more globally at the impact of our decisions? The problem is that decisions like whether to have children or add to your family, feel so deeply personal and close to home that it is hard to think about it on a global scale. Considering whether the greater good of the planet should limit our procreation just does not usually factor into our discussions.

Has the idea of the world being over-populated or decreasing the strain on our natural resources influenced your decision in having kids at all? And should it, is this something we need to take more seriously?

Are you willing to not have kids or more kids for the sake of our planet?


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