26 March, 2014

Saving the world

I read an article about climate change and the choices we make.  It took an interesting approach, one I hadn’t seen before, looking at (amongst other things) the impact on the environment of food per calorie (beans are best, apparently), before going on to talk about other choices we can all make to help the planet.  It was a large article, taking up half a page in our local newspaper.  We’ve since thrown out the paper, and I can’t find it online, so I’m going to have to paraphrase the last paragraph:

“But you can eat all the beans you want, cycle to work or drive a Prius, never fly, recycle everything, and eat organically, but none of it will even come close to the environmental impact on the planet of one single act – that of having a child.”

Next time someone calls you selfish for not having children, or implies that only those with children are contributing to society, remember that.  We’re saving the planet.


  1. :)
    yes, I thought about it already (but - I haven't seen that anywhere written down until your today's post).

  2. There's a professor in the department where I went to graduate school who have a bi-yearly talk about the negative impacts of having children on the environment. Considering we live in an area bordering Mormon country and had numerous first generation college students who came from large families, this talk always resulted in some very enraged students (and parents). The truth is, though, we know that having children is costly. But I would also argue that human beings are in general incredibly destructive to the planet. The question is, how do we find balance? How do we coexist with other organisms in order to sustain instead of deplete? And this is something we as a species are going to have to address.

    1. I agree. But we can't address these questions without discussing population. I'm probably going to post again. But it makes me nervous.

  3. This is certanly something that many childfree by choicers like to point out. I do notice that dh & I tend to put out much less trash on garbage pickup day than our next door neighbours do (& they only have one child!).

  4. That fact actually gives me great comfort. By not having children we are saving resources for the children who already exist, like my nephews, and hopefully leaving the world a better place for them.

  5. WOAH! I didn't expect that at all...this reminds me of a time years back when I first started sharing about my infertility journey in my main blog and then someone (with no kids) said that the world was already so over populated. I bristled inside when I read that because I was still in so much pain and grief, but logically I do know that the world is already over populated, but the idea of the environmental impact of having children is something new to me. Fascinating! However, I don't dare share this in FB because there are far too many parents there he he he he he...

  6. This is a good way to start my Monday -- contemplating that I've already contributed to something of significance: saving the world. ;-)