Sorry Mom and Dad, but it looks like “green baby” is a oxymoron. Yes, you may have made sacrifices to be kinder to mother earth with all your cutting down on electricity, wearing vegan shoes and investing in that top of the line Prius, but that little bundle of joy of yours? It totally offsets all that carbon good you’ve been doing. But perhaps that’s been your point the whole time. Maybe you’ve gone green so you won’t have to feel so guilty about your kid/s making your carbon footprint not just two sets of tracks but a whole family of them.
The New York Times blog Green Inc. sited a new study from statisticians at Oregon State University, which agrees with the British study Hannah wrote about a year ago. The new study confirms that “having a child has an impact that far outweighs that of other energy-saving behaviors.” The Times stated that “a hypothetical American woman who switches to a more fuel-efficient car, drives less, recycles, installs more efficient light bulbs, and replaces her refrigerator and windows with energy-saving models. If she had two children, the researchers found, her carbon legacy would eventually rise to nearly 40 times what she had saved by those actions.”
One of the factors that was worked into the equation was that the child you birth and rear may in turn birth and rear their own kids, leading to yet more consumption. Another factor was where your family lives. Geography greatly affects the size of your family’s carbon footprint.
But yet, if you do absolutely nothing to reduce your consumption of the world’s resources, it just makes it way way worse. And the fact that procreating will grow not only your belly, your bills but your environmental friendliness, probably won’t deter anyone who wants to start a family.
Would or has being the one responsible for a larger carbon footprint affect your decision to have kids?