Some GINKs (that is Green Inclined, No Kids) will tell you that going child-free helps reduce impact on our environment. They’ve tallied up the material needs, food and water that their prospective child might consume over his/her lifetime and decided our planet with 7.2 billion people at last count just can’t handle it.
Going child-free is a great strategy for those who have no interest in child-rearing. But for many people, the decision to raise a child isn’t one that necessarily comes from a critical look at the facts. It’s an emotional choice to make a life “complete.”
As a long-time environmentalist and sustainability advocate, I understand all the reasons to go child-free, but my emotional drive won out. Here’s my story.
From Birth, My Daughter Had Strong Opinions About Her Right To Consume And Produce Waste
Yes, my daughter will create garbage over her lifetime and she will use water and energy and other precious resources. But so do the rest of us humans (with the exception of No Impact Man). And yes, our family’s waste stream has nearly doubled because of her diapers, and we’re doing a lot of extra laundry. But I assure all of the GINKs out there that these things are only temporary.
But We Don’t Have To Be A GINK Or Live Child-Free To Live A No-Waste Lifestyle
Despite the many ways they add to the global waste stream, there are myriad ways parents can minimize their baby’s impacts through reuse. My husband and I are looking for used options and intend to pass along toys and clothing when we are done with them. And instead of disposables, we’ll explore compostable diapers as soon as we get used to the new routine.
The Decision to Bring a Child Into This World Has Increased My Capacity For Love, Patience And Compassion
These traits make me more effective at my work advocating for sustainability and corporate attention to the triple bottom line. Motherhood has strengthened my desire to fight the good fight so that the bounty of this world is still available for my daughter and future generations.
And as a waste hater in training, she will learn that she has a responsibility to the greater good beyond her own well-being; she will live lightly and help those around her to do the same.
This and other stories published on WeHateToWaste.com are intended to prompt productive conversation about practical solutions for preventing waste. Opinions expressed are solely those of the contributors and WeHateToWaste implies no endorsement of the products or companies mentioned. All comments will be moderated and those that are overly promotional, mean-spirited or off-topic may be deleted. All postings become the property of WeHateToWaste.com.