27 Sep Save the Planet … Have More Children
by Maureen Wittman
I enjoyed reading this article and kindly received permission to re-print it. Maureen Wittmann is co-owner of Homeschool Connections which provides online educational services for homeschoolers and has her own website Maureen Wittman for homeschoolers.
A few years ago a friend was attending the Earth Day celebrations in her community with her five children in tow. She must have been quite the sight as she pushed her double stroller along with her three older children hanging on. She stopped at the over-population booth, which provided attendees with an array of literature enlightening them about the dangers of reproducing. She looked up from the literature and into the eyes of the gentleman manning the table and said, “We must be your worst nightmare.” Shocked, the man said nothing as my friend strolled away. Then suddenly she heard him calling after her. He was running toward her, waving his literature frantically, yelling, “Wait, wait! It’s not too late to stop!”
I propose that we save the earth by having more babies. Yes, you heard me right — go forth and multiply. The over-population crowd has it backwards, in my opinion.
My husband and I are parents to six children and counting. Yet, we use far fewer of the earth’s resources than our friends and family members who have two and three children. And we especially use fewer resources than those who are two-income families.
We conserve wherever we can, not because the government compels us to do so, but out of necessity. I have been known to go so far as to rinse out and reuse cereal bags instead of buying baggies. I’ve even used onion bags as dish scrubbers.
We compost everything possible, from dryer lint to coffee grounds to vegetable discards. The compost is then used to feed our vegetable garden. The garden then provides a bounty of home-canned vegetables and fruit through the winter. And the cycle begins again. Since we grow some of our own food and eat vegetarian several days a week, big industry farms are not being heavily supported and cow waste isn’t polluting the water table.
With six children, laundry can be daunting, so my children are instructed to keep their clothes tidy and wear pajamas for more than one night. Believe me, they keep clean knowing that Mom will be unhappy if they change clothes in the middle of the day. As a result, water and energy are saved.
While our smaller-family friends spend hours each week scouring the mall and running to various sporting events, we are home enjoying time as a family. The time spent away from home lugging our children to separate activities would be unthinkable. No fossil fuel wasted traveling all about town and no pollution being spewed into the air.
We live in the city as the suburbs are too pricey for us, so we are not contributing to urban sprawl. As our family grows, we simply stack the children in bunk beds instead of buying a bigger home.
With a large family, people naturally give us their hand me downs. I cannot begin to count the number of Sundays I’ve been approached by a fellow parishioner with clothes for my children. I pull out the clothes I need for my children and give the rest to charity or to other large families. No sweat shop workers being exploited to make clothes for my family
We teach our children to be good stewards of the earth. We are not to exploit it, but use it conservatively. Instead of soaking in the air conditioning, we play outside in the shade. We buy in bulk, so we’re only throwing away one huge prepackaged container instead of a bunch of little ones. We enjoy home-cooked meals and avoid carry-out food when possible, so we’re not filling the landfills with disposable foam products that have a half life of a zillion years.
So, the next time you’re at an Earth Day celebration and the over-population gurus try to corner you with their propaganda, give them a shock and tell them that you are saving the earth by having more children.
This article originally appeared in Our Sunday Visitor.