Locus Focus on 01/31/11
GINK—Green Inclinations, No Kids
A Conversation with GRIST.ORG'S Lisa Hymas
According to a 2009 study by statisticians at Oregon State University, each child an American has increases his or her lifetime carbon emission by 570 percent—because kids are likely to one day have kids of their own and so on. With climate change already causing havoc around the globe and the world population poised to hit 7 billion this fall, some people are wondering whether a sane response is to skip parenthood altogether.
On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Lisa Hymas, co-founder of the online environmental news organization Grist.org. Hymas coined the acronym GINK (green inclinations, no kids) to describe a small but growing group of people who are both environmentally conscious and childfree by choice. As she wrote in her GINK Manifesto, this choice has been personally fulfilling for her, but it's still not generally accepted in society, or even in environmental circles.
But since the childfree choice certainly isn't right for everyone, Hymas has also written about other steps people can take to help lessen population pressure -- including improving sex ed in schools, not pressuring other people to have kids, and even just talking openly and open-mindedly about family choices and population.
Lisa Hymas is senior editor and cofounder of Grist.org, an online environmental news organization. She writes about the green side of being childfree as well as other environmental issues. Lisa won a 2010 Population Institute Global Media Award for her writing on childfree living and population. She started her career as a writer and editor at Greenwire, a Washington, D.C.-based online environmental news service. She has also worked at Island Press, an environmental book publisher, and Tomorrow, a sustainable business magazine. She lives in Seattle.