When Sex Isn't Sexy… Environmental Implications of Another Baby Boom

Birth control methods. There are many, but the two most common forms are the condom and the hormonal pill. Can these products be manufactured sustainably?

If not… who cares?

There is something I would like to add to list of “things I would never give up, even if sustainable solutions are never found.”

The first thing I mentioned in my second post with Sustainablog. Β In “An Evil Kind of Green,” I concede the importance of Western medicine after the immediate relief it gives me from a severe poison ivy rash.

The second is along the same lines…

Based on my grasp of the environmental situation we face right now, it matters little if birth control pills cannot be manufactured in a sustainable way, or if some excess estrogens may be leaked into waterways as a result. The number one factor that needs to be brought under control as soon as possible is… just how many of us there are around.

Since 1960, the human population of the planet Earth has more than doubled. Even considering aggressive campaigns to promote birth control, the population is expected to climb to 9 billion by 2042, as estimated by the UN. It could be less, but… it could also be much, much more.

In my research to determine which choices are the most effective for an individual to reach environmental sustainability for him or herself, it becomes evident that the number one thing on the top of the list is:

1. Have fewer babies (or none at all).

The impact this has is so significant, that #2 and the following numbers are dwarfed by it.

There are plenty of people to go around. Β An excerpt from Robert Engelman’s book, More: Population, Nature, and What Women Want suggests that environmental sustainability would be the natural result if women everywhere were allowed the right to determine their reproductive choices. Β To summarize, “Women don’t want more children. Β They want more for their children.” Β 

It is crucial that we all achieve maximum levels of education and work together to address our planet-wide debacle with our full agency, creativity and abilities. Surely, those of us who are parents will agree, we want to see our children excel and fulfill their potential in life. To do so is indeed essential to the survival and advancement of us all!

However, this sentiment need not be addressed to only our own kin. Advocating and acting for education opportunities for all of the children (and adults!) of the world is a definite way to contribute toward improving the global situation. Additionally, there is plenty we can do–and to a more significant impact–if we focus our efforts on eliminating the production of plastics that imitate estrogens when they break down and enter our biological pathways.

Thus, I am willing to trade off on this matter. Birth control, in its various manifestations, still has some issues in terms of environmental viability. But what has even worse implications… is what we’d do without it.

For more information:

One company is taking the initiative to produce environmentally-friendly condoms:Β http://environment.about.com/od/biodiversityconservation/a/condoms_forest.htm

Interesting Point – Counterpoint on whether condoms are a boon or a bane to overall environmental health: http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/342/ Β http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/3937/

Great blog on: Why are we over-packaging birth control? Β http://michellemckay.typepad.com/sustainablelife/2007/10/overpacking-bir.html

Written by carolinesavery

One Ping

  1. Pingback:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Drill screws into the branch and wrap wire around each screw

How Eco-Friendly Coffee Makes a Difference

The string should be wrapped tightly between two points and twisted, so the branches can be held vertically in place while the concrete dries.

Nude Kona Coffee Farmers Make Their Point, Naturally