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The Green Life: Rocking the Cradle: New Book Discusses the Child-Free Option

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January 18, 2011

Rocking the Cradle: New Book Discusses the Child-Free Option

No Way Baby! What’s green about not having kids? Besides bringing one less consumer onto an increasingly crowded planet, it reduces the human footprint — particularly in terms of carbon emissions. 

Karen Foster’s new book, No Way Baby!: Exploring, Understanding, and Defending the Decision NOT to Have Children, attempts to give readers a better understanding of the decision not to reproduce. Foster wrote the book after realizing that there were almost no resources that shed light on the issue, despite the 5 million women of child-bearing age who've chosen to be childfree.

Some of the statistics in the book are staggering. For one thing, Americans seem to be contributing to much of the environmental impact: “We consume about five times more resources per person than the rest of the world combined . . . and with countries like India and China trying to match our lifestyles, it does become an issue of too many people,” Foster said.

Though a great deal of child-free adults do cite overpopulation as a reason for not having kids, not all make the decision for environmental reasons. Said Foster, "I’ve found that it’s really hard to say that child-free people choose not to have children because of this or that; everyone’s reasons are individual . . . You should make the decision based on what you want in your life."

No Way Baby! uses the author’s detailed research, interviews with 50 child-free Americans, analyses of pop culture and media, and her own insightful narrative to examine a question that seems out of the ordinary even today: What if you don’t want kids?

--Shirley Mak

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