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Too many kids? - Page 9

post #161 of 219
Originally Posted by andrea View Post
Again, it depends on which way you are willing to look at it.
I could argue that a family with 6 kids had 5 more people that are willing and able to save the earth than a family with 1 kid.
And what if one of those 6 kids goes on to research/invent/contribute to something world-changing and miraculous for the environment or society?
What if the only child goes to become the CEO of Shell and chooses to pollute hundreds of lakes and rivers and poisons thousands of animals in the pursuit of oil and greed?
What if that one kid is in disposables for 4 years, and the 6 are EC'd 100%?
What if the 1 kid had a 3000sq foot house and his parents use disposable EVERYTHING and own 4 hummers? What if the family with 6 kids lives in a tiny "green" house and uses public transportation and walks everywhere?
What if the one becomes a narcistic sociopath and rapes and murders rapes 36 women? What if one of the 6 opens and runs a sanctuary for battered women and fundraises millions into rehab and family councilling programs?

We could "what if" all day, but the fact of the matter is, you cant prove AT ALL that 1 child is more responsible or has less of an impact on the earth/environmnent/society than 6,
nor can you prove that 6 children are more responsible or has less of an impact on the earth/environmnent/society than one. Because that is assuming.

There are infinite possibilities lying in each and every one of us.
True. Very true. Yes, I think the manner in which a household raises children and lives in general matters quite a lot. You are correct that as you make parenting decisions, that the impact that your 2 or more children have could have a lesser footprint than someone who raises one child in an opulent or wasteful manner.

But...what about when those children go out into the world...do 5 adults living lightly thread more lightly in total than one adult with an average footprint? I don't know.

And what about when those 5 people have 2 or more children each? The impact surely is greater.
post #162 of 219
Originally Posted by andrea View Post
I will argue that there is NOT finite resources for the amount pf people on earth as of now. There is only a distribution problem. There, people go hungry. Here, we waste millions of pounds of food.
There is ENOUGH for everyone. It is a matter of figuring out how to get it to everyone that needs it, or educating people who need it on how to access it. We just need a better system.
Oh, yes, I totally agree that there is a distribution problem when it comes to resources.

But many resources are finite, and the ones that are rechargable and sustainable, aren't being managed that well.

Now, I'm not dooming and glooming for the next generation, but if we look 7 generations down the years, what will the impact of having large families be?
post #163 of 219
Originally Posted by RedWine View Post
Just pointing out that it is okay to choose to limit family size because of resources. We want our kids to go to college, have a life full of travel, and to have a certain amount of monetary freedom. That is not "showering them with things" (which I find insulting, though I realize it was not your intent to insult). We would have a hard time doing that with three, but we can do that with two.

Yes, I agree. To me, it's not so much about limiting my family size to provide more material things to my children.

With fewer children, I can provide more opportunities to my children, just as you said RedWine.

And also I think about living lightly on the planet.
post #164 of 219
Originally Posted by lovingmommyhood View Post
I never understood why it's a parents job to give their children a good education (College)? Whatever happened to working for it yourself? I paid for my own college (still am) and so did all of my friends. I don't really understand why that's a failure on my parents part. They could afford to pay for it, they just choose not to.

If someone wants to pay for their child's education I say more power to ya but I certainly find it unfair that it's viewed as parental failure not to.
Well, I agree with you to an extent. I paid for my own college education and everything else on my own. But I am one of only a few in my family who have a college education.

Parents don't necessarily need to pay for college, but they should stress education, otherwise kids often go in other directions.

Personally, I don't intend to pay 100% for my kids to go to college, but I will save money to help them. With the growing cost of education, it may be nearly impossible to self-finance college in 10 or 20 years.

There aren't that many scholarships and grants, and loan borrowing amounts aren't keeping pace with the rising cost of college.

It was hard to pay for college myself years ago, it will probably be even harder when my children are of college age.

That's why it's important to me to save for them.
post #165 of 219
Originally Posted by karina5 View Post
I asked this before and was truly surprised at the number of people who don't care much about this.


I think in terms of the impact of larger families on the carrying capacity of the planet or intentionally living lightly on Earth or God's Creation, however you think of it, maybe it comes down to two things:

1. There is sometimes an overwhelming personal desire to have a baby. It is hormonal and instinctual in many circumstances. And it's a very personal decision. And your philosophy about this is also probably heavily connected with your spiritual/political/social beliefs and your socioeconomic status.

2. And many people have only a casual understanding of world resources, population growth, etc. I mean, I'm knee deep in motherhood and it is hard to keep on top of issues and keep current with the news. We in this forum are busy raising children. I'm not as current as I'd like to be.

I had opinions about population growth and world resources and living lightly before I had children. It would be hard to find the time to do this research now and formulate these opinions now, with kids and all the demands of motherhood!

post #166 of 219
Originally Posted by mom2seven View Post
Is it? I certainly get no end of comments that it is socially unacceptable.
Yes, I agree. I haven't noticed a trend in having large families. I agree with you, I think society generally finds large families these days socially unacceptable (right or wrong).

Most people I know and most people I see have small families. Two kids seems to be the norm, and 3 kids is considered a large family by today's standards.
post #167 of 219
Originally Posted by Sonnenwende View Post
Me too. I thought this was a natural living forum, environmentally responsible living. I just fail to see what is so environmentally responsible about having large families. Sorry, at the end of the day 8 kids are more than 1. 8 kids require more resources than 1. You need a bigger car(s) to drag them around. You need a bigger house to keep them. You need more clothes because even hand me downs don't last forever. You need more food. You need more electricity. You need more water. You create more trash.

You can recycle all you want and conserve all you want, but it doesn't negate the impact made by having so many kids period, particularly when they are adults. You cannot compare it to having just one because it is not comparable. A family of three could in theory waste just as much though not many do. However, it would be easy enough for them just to downsize and make a more reasonable impact and then use far less resources than a family of 10 people have to. It is just math.

I agree.

Now, that's not to say that if you have a large family, that you can't still strive to live as sustainably as possible. In fact, I would try to convince all families with 3 or more children to please live lightly to lessen the impact! But that's just me.

It's just your footprint will be a large one, due to the large amount of people.
post #168 of 219
Originally Posted by KBecks View Post
However, I do feel parents have a responsibility take interest in their children's educations as they are the primary educators for the childhood and teen years, regardless of what type of schooling is chosen.

Thank you! Yes, I agree! Parents don't necessarily need to pay for college, but they should still stress education.

I did pay 100% for my college education and everything else pretty much on my own starting in my teen years. I've been self-sufficient and proud of it.

However, it was a struggle.
post #169 of 219
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
Well I'm glad that works for you but some of us believe that God gives us insight into our personalities and limits, and rational thinking and free will, rather than just handing off particular numbers of children. Whether or not we want large or small families.

There are definitely families out there who have too many kids and don't handle it well. If God "wouldn't let that happen" then we wouldn't need CPS and there wouldn't be abused needy kids in our society... not to mention countries where people have children and truly cannot feed them and they die. Do you really think that God is making the decision to give those people children so that they can starve?

It is not, in my opinion, turning your back on God to do what you do well and be grateful for the children you have rather than to seek more.

There are so many people who are homeless, hungry, sick with no medical access, living with unspeakable hardships, etc. I don't think God would turn His back on these people. I think think God is not involved in the day to day lives of people, but perhaps is a guiding force that we choose to listen to or not listen to.
post #170 of 219
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
Absolutely. And you can have a small family and teach your children to be environmentally aware.

If you have a large family, each one of those children will ultimately be driving cars and maintaining their own households. It is highly, highly unlikely that say 8 households are going to be less damaging to the environment than one or two households.

As for the idea that one needs to breed a huge number of children because one of them might be the next Einstein, that's nonsense. They could all turn out to be the next Ted Bundy. There are no guarantees.
post #171 of 219
My sister's in-laws are zero population advocates. I'll have to describe the situation vaguely in case they or someone they know read this forum (unlikely for the former, likely for the latter).

They had 2 children, and when one of those children went on to have more than 2 children, they semi-disowned them. They talk about zero population IN FRONT of the "pollution" grandchildren. In their holiday newsletter they do not include photos of the "pollution" children and usually don't make mention of them. They spend a few dollars on holiday presents on the family in violation of zero population while they spend lavishly on the other child's family.

Meanwhile this couple, who is extremely wealthy, live in a luxurious, 3000+ sq ft home (just the 2 of them), take frequent international vacations, and drive 10s of 1000s of miles a year (for vacationing, not work).

My sister lives very, very frugally, grows her own food, keeps the thermostat lower than you can imagine, drives as little as possible... her family uses fewer resources than the in-laws, I'm sure.
post #172 of 219
Originally Posted by lovingmommyhood View Post
I personally don't believe that it's my duty to have less kids to reduce our carbon footprint. All of you who are saying that... I don't really get how you can get up on your high horse about "only" having one or two kids. If you're that concerned about it you should have 0 kids. Otherwise I see it as very hypocritical.

Nobody knows how much each individual family does to preserve the earth. Just looking at family size is very unfair and unscientific at that.
True. You are right...it is unscientific and it is unfair to just look at family size alone.

I'm not just talking about carbon footprint though. That is the hot environmental topic of the day, but I think resource expenditure in general and population growth are the broader issues.

I don't think I'm on a high horse or at least I hope not to suggest that one's environmental footprint is ONE consideration you should look at when deciding to have a larger family.

I also think of the resources that will be available for quality of life when that child's great great grandchildren are born. It's about living lightly lightly but also about quality of life.

post #173 of 219
Originally Posted by KBecks View Post
I heard a news report of a woman in the UK who had two abortions and then was sterilized as she wanted because she and her partner believe its enviornmentally irresponsible to have children.

That's not how I think at all, but some are choosing that path.
Well, that is extreme, which is why it made the news. That is not the norm and I know not one environmentalist or scientist who advocates or agrees with that.

I don't think environmentalists in general are against having children (I know many who have children) but I think environmentalists do think you should consider the environmental impact and resulting quality of life for future generations when determining your family size, among other issues.

All things in perspective...
post #174 of 219
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
Two or fewer refers to replacement rate. In other words, you aren't making the problem worse. I've got two kids, but did not birth them.

I absolutely think it is my responsibility to provide my children with a college education. I wouldn't have adopted them if I wasn't prepared to do that. Some people do manage to make a good living without a college education, but statistically, people with college degrees earn substantially more money than those without. I want to help my kids to be successful, and I believe that the number one way I can do that is by sending them to college. I also believe that getting started in life is difficult enough without being underneath a pile of debt.
post #175 of 219
Originally Posted by meowee View Post
I used a carbon footprint calculator and according to it my family of 7 (soon to be, hopefully, 8!) uses far less resources than a typical family of 3. I drive, at most, 20 miles a week, usually closer to 10. And there's no guarantee that my 6 children will have fewer or more children cumulatively than someone else's 1 or 2. My mother had 2 children and now has 9, almost 10 grandchildren.

A couple of my children have already told me that they have no plans on procreating. It's very likely that my children will produce fewer grandchildren than my mother's 2 did. You just can't predict.
Carbon footprint is usually in relation to just global warming. A person's or families impact on the environment is broader than just the issue of global warming.

But it does sound like you're living a lighter impact than most families () and I do think that our daily living decisions can offset other decisions that we make.
post #176 of 219
Originally Posted by maplesugar View Post
With regards to the environmental impact of having children, I think it all comes down to lifestyle choices. I surmise that having ten breastfed, cloth-diapered (depending upon how ecologically laundered), low viehicular using children does less damage to the earth than the opposite.

If you have ten children but rarely use fossile fuels, and raise you own food, you do less damage than a one child family who does typical mainstream things.

I recently read one mothers account of going through eighty disposable diapers per week with her 3 month old. Multiply this by three years. That's a lot of plastic in the landfills.

Of course, most large families I know do use sposies.
I see what your trying to say here, and I agree with and applaud your intent. However, I have researched the cloth vs disposable issue and it is a toss-up as far as environmental impact.

I'm not so sure 10 kids living in an environmentally responsible family is the same or less impact of one kid in an average family. But I think it's admirable to raise the 10 kids in an environmentally conscious way.
post #177 of 219
Originally Posted by savithny View Post
But someday all 10 of those children grow up. They're not going to live in the one low-impact home forever. They're each going to need their own house, for their own family and their own ten kids.

And 40 years down the road, the 2-child family has their household, 2 child households, and 4 grandchild households - 7 households total. The 10-child family family has 111 households. Even if the 7 households drive SUVs and use disposables, the 111 households in their Priuses, washign their cloth diapers are still going to have a bigger carbon footprint. They'd have to reduce their footprints to 1/10th of the smaller family's footprint for all things to be equal.

I agree with this. Still, I think trying to live in an environmentally conscious way is admirable.
post #178 of 219
Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
Honestly, those things are not going to make that much of a difference. The real difference is in material consumption and food distribution, not in "green-lite" earth-saving strategies.


Agree! There are major differences in "green-lite" and true environmental impact. It's a harsh reality but true. Still, "green-lite" or "deep-green" just be some shade of green in everything you do!

post #179 of 219
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
It just boggles my mind that there's all this worry about food supply, when all I see (and hear about) is tons and tons of food getting thrown out every day.
Well, diminishing food supply not right now, but generations in the future, when population growth has continued to grow exponentially.

And not just food supply...all resources.
post #180 of 219
I have one child. I'm still quite young (22), and I know I have many childbearing years ahead of me, but I have lots of reservations about having more children (which combats the baby fever I have so often).

One reason is that I'm a single mom. I think I'm providing for ds well and we're doing ok, but for me to have more children, there are childcare costs--which would double--built right in because I don't have the luxury of choosing whether or not to work full time.

Secondly, the environmental aspect has influence on me. Sure, many things I do to reduce my footprint are just "chump change", but what else can I do? I strongly believe that chump change is a great deal better than nothing. In some perspectives, using a tea ball rather than the paper things and religiously recycling whatever I can, may seem hypocritical when I turn around and take a long shower now and then. But isn't that better than NOT recycling AND taking the long showers?

That aspect is very complex, because you can bring up religion and the theory of desiring motherhood being ingrained in every woman (which I don't believe). I don't believe that it's wrong, or even an inferior choice, to have a big family. My point is, at the end of the day, mamas that breastfeed and ec can do so with 1 or 7 children, and 7 children will be a bigger impact than 1 raised the same way, so it's worth considering. To me, it's worth it to avoid having more children partly because of the added waste, but the next mama may have the opposite opinion.

I do worry about the gd thing as well. I assume there are armloads of exceptions to the rule, but I'd imagine that, statistically, gd is more popular with smaller families. I don't have all the facts--it could be that bigger families tend to homeschool and have SAHMs, therefore have the time and resources to discipline conscientiously (sp?). Coming back to myself, I know that my patience wears thin at times with my one and only ds and ft work schedule. I know I'd have a harder time avoiding regressing to my own parents' "easy ways out", so for me I just mark that as another tally on the "don't have more children" side.
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