04 September, 2020

Childlessness and the environment

When I wrote my post Ten Ways the Childless Limit their Environmental Impact I forgot to list the biggest way our environmental impact is reduced. I was reminded of it by a comment on a social media group for those who are ageing without children, just after I had written my post. "Of course!" I said, embarrassed that I hadn't included it, although I kind of touched on it when I talked about housing.

Our environmental impact ends with us. We don't have children who go on to place stress on this already stressed planet, by doing all the things we all do (or did) - require food, clothing, housing, heating and/or cooling, transportation, technology, etc. We don't have children who have more children who go on to place stress on this planet. 

Feeling good? Good, you should.  This is one of the silver linings of infertility. And one of the best ways we can contribute to the future of other people's children.

Did I miss any other points?




  1. Wow. Can't say I agree that there are any "silver linings" to infertility. As someone who's been through the heartbreak of 4 failed adoptions along with infertility - and am proud of my very low carbon footprint, I don't consider the lower environmental impact to be any type of bonus to this lifetime of loss.

    1. I totally understand you feeling this way. It's completely normal, of course, to struggle with this idea. But there are many silver linings, once we come to embrace our lives without children. I wrote my Gifts of Infertility series about that. Seeing and appreciating silver linings does not in any way diminish the losses we have suffered. It just means we can appreciate the life we have, rather than the one we have lost.