How many kids should one have? None? Just one? An even pair? A dozen?
For most, the answer to this question is dictated by accident, chance or circumstance (biological, economic, career demands, the need for extra hands on the homestead). Others consult Mother Gaia before they reproduce.
Back in 2011, The Guardian ran this persuasive article about one woman’s choice not to have any kids to reduce her impact of the planet. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/sep/27/not-have-children-environmental-reasons. You can eschew SUVs, GMOs and phthalates, but, if you’re the kind of person who might drive a Prius, your offspring are likely to devour resources and pour forth pollution. Forget cloth diapers and homemade baby food. You lose the battle to save the planet as soon as you give birth to the kind of kid who’s going to backpack around Europe after college, or, worse yet, find him/herself by trekking in Nepal.
I’ve got two kids. I’m not going to attempt to come up with excuses for my selfish behavior. Instead, I’m taking action. From now on, I’m putting my little ones on a low-carbon diet.
No toys, just found objects. A tent in the yard instead of additional square footage. They’re going to have to learn to ride those tricycles quick because I’m done driving them to Tumble Tikes and Kindermusik. Computer literacy? Forget it. In our home, educational enrichment will be focused on developing useful skills. Think foraging lessons and home brew workshops.
I predict they’ll whine about their dry water table and empty kiddie pool, but, soon enough, they’ll learn to love their low-impact lifestyle. Kids adapt. To make the transition easier (on me), though, I’m dropping them off with my parents while they adjust.
I’m off on vacation to Japan. My parents will have to come up with their own plan to atone for the carbon emissions they generated when I was born.
Which is all my way of explaining why I might not be posting for a few weeks.
Signing off until mid-June…