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Birth Control to Help the Environment

Tell Mommy: Less Kids, More Green?

Generally speaking, bigger families consume more than smaller ones: food, cars, and houses grow to accommodate more members. In an effort to lessen the carbon footprint imposed by the human race, Jonathon Porritt, the chair of Britain's Sustainable Development Commission said:

I am unapologetic about asking people to connect up their own responsibility for their total environmental footprint and how they decide to procreate and how many children they think are appropriate...I think we will work our way towards a position that says that having more than two children is irresponsible. It is the ghost at the table. We have all these big issues that everybody is looking at and then you don’t really hear anyone say the “p” word.

Perhaps the rest of the world will implement China's One Child Law and keep Mother Earth healthy. Tell mommy, this Earth Day, will you recycle bottles, flush the toilet less and use birth control to lessen your impact?

Join The Conversation
annissa annissa 8 years
I think the idea of limiting your family to only two kids for the sake of the environment is crazy! Some of the most wasteful families I've met are the people who only have one or two kids. A big family who cares enough to use reusable water bottles, shut off lights when they aren't using them and so on and so forth will probably be consuming less than a family half that size who doesn't care. Furthermore, by having more children and teaching them about recycling and protecting the environment by example, they can educate the community as a whole. Big families also traditionally breed more responsible consumers because of their smaller income. Think about the number of things that people do to save money that also save the environment -- those are habits that are being passed on. People should stay out of other people's business -- if the Duggars want to have a bazillion kids and support them and love them, great! No one is forcing you to do it. It's just as wrong to force someone into having a child as it is to force someone into not having a child.
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
Well, having many kids is not great for us. I don't think I'd base my personal decision based on what was best for the environment (though my SO definitely is). We are not sure if we will have kids, but we know for sure if it's not none, one is certainly the limit. I don't want to add horribly to the population. There is not one single reason a person "needs" like, 20 children and above a la, my great grandmother. If you can be just as satisfied with 2 or 3, why have 16? Chances are you can't afford 16, and it really does nothing but add more people to the earth who will be alive 8 years and breed dozens of children. I think China was smart. It may not be P.C. to say "dude, the fact that you have sex so often is making our planet a worse place to live, so get off your back and stop having babies" -- but hey, whatever works works. It probably will never happen here. We, the US are known for being complete dbags who pretend to be all progressive and nice. Whatever keeps us looking better is probably what we will do.
Aphrosette Aphrosette 8 years
I think that Mr. Porritt is looking at things the wrong way. There are plenty of larger families out there, AND they tend to have less money b/c of the size of their family, which means they reuse more things, A LOT more things then the typical 2 kid household. Its a necessity not a choice. Add that to simple lessons on how to be a more "green" household and I see nothing wrong with their choice. Perhaps he should focus on teaching people how to be more environmentally friendly regardless of the size of their family instead of telling people to stop having kids? My husband and I will have whatever size family we are blessed with but we will also shop at the farmer's market, use reusable grocery store bags, use clothe diapers and public transportation and whatever we can to keep our carbon footprint reasonable.
keiren63 keiren63 8 years
And, it is all very well and good to reflect on world-wide numbers--but not realistic. In Canada, the population growth is so low, that we know that soon we will not have the money available from taxing the working population to support the needs of the Boomer Generation as they hit 65, and develop the usual medical problems of the elderly. In the province of Quebec, people are given bonuses for each child born: the bonuses increase substantially with the number in each family. I think it's $500 for the first, then several thousand by the third or fourth.
keiren63 keiren63 8 years
"consider implementing China's One Child Law"????? Are you kidding? China's law has led to orphanages there filling with female children, and other horrors. The current estimate of the population is that there are 120 boys to every 100 girls born...and it's getting worse. The population will certainly be controlled without government intervention soon enough as there literally will not be women available for a large proportion of the men.
Gdeeaz Gdeeaz 8 years
My limit is 2 kids, just enough to replace myself and their father. I think its incredible that in 1804 the worlds population reached 1 billion and now in 2009 we are up to almost 6.8 billion.
sassy_chick sassy_chick 8 years
More than anything, I think it depends on how well you can support them and teach them. One mother I saw in public had no control over her six children, and was just looking around the grocery store saying "There are just so many of them, I don't have a prayer!" I wanted to say back to her "then you shouldn't have had so many."
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
i don't know if the limit should be 2, or what it should be. but less than 10 for gosh sakes.
Moms Moms 8 years
I'm already breaking the rule and having a third. But, we do try and live a more green lifestyle buying local, organic and that type of thing.
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
I think if you make a strong effort to live a green lifestyle and conserve energy (which is also a great lesson for kids in general), a 4-child family could probably live more "green" than the average American 2-child family. I think it's about practices and consciousness.
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 8 years
I want 4 kids.
kia kia 8 years
I think it is funny how most environmentalist I know who I think will make great parents limit themselves at two kids (zero population growth) or choose not to have kids. I rarely see pregnant folks at the Ecological Society of America meetings. Me and my husband plan to limit ourselves to two if we have kids. And even then we may adopt.
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