Swedes Recommended to Stop Making Babies for the Sake of Environment

Known for being ecologically-minded, the Swedes are taking sustainability to a whole new level amid scientifically-based calls from researchers and environmental activists for young families to have fewer children to ease the burden on Mother Nature.

Many Swedes have in recent years been adapting their habits to a more sustainable lifestyle, which includes less driving, eating less meat and abstaining from transatlantic flights. However, environmental activists are not content with the sacrifices already made and are propagating sterner family planning in order to reduce the carbon footprint.

Erik Isberg, a consultant in sustainable entrepreneurship and the founder of the NGO, Young Collective, exemplified this trend in an opinion piece for the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter. Its headline alone, “Make a choice for environment — have just one child” epitomizes the message in a crystal clear form.

While urging his fellow Swedes to take the environmental mentality to a “whole new level,” Isberg refers to a study by Lund University in southern Sweden, which listed being child-free as the most drastic option of reducing carbon dioxide emissions in developed parts of the world.

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According to Lund University, choosing to have one child fewer corresponds to a reduction of 58.6 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year, whereas a car-free lifestyle would only save 2.4 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year, which is almost 25 times less effective, Dagens Nyheter reported. By contrast, meticulous waste sorting only contributed to a reduction of 0.2 tons a year.

“A question quickly springs to mind: can we really ignore such a great opportunity to reduce our impact?” Erik Isberg asked rhetorically in his opinion piece. “No one but you can choose this, and it may be about time for all parents, present and future, to ask themselves this question. For this choice can be what gives your child a future,” he concluded.



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