To lessen their environmental impact, some people are making drastic choices, choosing to limit the size of their family or even to be child-free (not have children at all).
“Overpopulation is the elephant in the room when it comes to environmental issues,” Harriet Spark, an ethical international designer said in an interview. “It’s such a hard topic to talk about, let alone act on but, nonetheless, it’s one we should be talking about.”
In recent months, there has been unprecedented coverage in the global media about family size and overpopulation, with features in The Guardian, The Washington Post, Quartz India and The New York Times addressing a topic that has previously been taboo in some countries. British fitness vlogger Zanna van Dijk recently shared with her 63,540 subscribers her disinclination to have children for environmental reasons.
The decision to have a child is primarily an emotional one and often in India, a cultural pressure to which most people succumb. But as our resources are being stretched to breaking point, it is evident that the uncomfortable truth associated with overpopulation is crossing people’s minds and motivating some to not contribute further to the problems, states a report on antinatalists (a popular term for people who are child-free by choice).
Last year, Population Matters released “Small Families, Small Planet,” a YouTube video highlighting the environmental benefits of having a smaller family. The release was supported by research from scientific journal Environmental Research Letters, which estimated that if each family has one fewer child, it could save 58.6 metric tonnes of carbon a year, compared to giving up a car which would save 2.4 metric tonnes per year.
Recycling and using public transport are good if you want to reduce your carbon footprint, but to truly make a difference, you should have fewer children… or none at all. What do you think of this child-free approach to ethical parenting?
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The CSR Journal Team