Childless couples were more environmentally friendly than couples with children

Researchers found that childless adults in Sweden are more eco-friendly lifestyle and produce 26 percent less carbon emissions than their compatriots who became parents. In contrast, childless couples, families with children often forced to use private vehicles and to buy prepared food, made with great damage to the environment, to save time, write the scientists in the journal PLOS One.

Having children implies the emergence of new consumers, and has long been knownthat population growth increases the emission of CO2. The researchers time and again have expressed the assumption that parenthood can be a transformational experience that is able to change consumer habits of a person reducing his carbon footprint. This is because parents are able to think more about the future than childless adults, and be aware of the risks of environmental problems facing their children: climate change and environmental pollution.

At the same time, extends the parenting needs of adult and reduces the time to solution of many problems. This encourages people to use personal vehicles and to purchase goods, manufacture, transportation and disposal of which are accompanied by a considerable emission of CO2 — for example, meat products. In addition, some studies showthat parents are willing to spend less money on environmental protection than childless men.

Scientists led by Jonas nordström (Jonas Nordstrom) at the University of Copenhagen has collected economic data for the period 2008-2009 at 2692 families in Sweden: childless couples and couples with two children. The sample included only those families where both adults work and live separately from their parents. The researchers collected data on the consumption of food and non-alcoholic beverages, the use of transport, and spending on clothing (including shoes) and accommodation: these costs account for about 85 percent of total emissions of carbon dioxide.

It turned out that the average pair of adults in families with children throws 3513,8 kilograms of CO2 per year, and the childless couple by 26 percent less (2795,82 kg, p = 0.001). 55 percent of this difference is achieved through the use of transport, 42 per cent due to differences in consumed food. Carbon dioxide emissions caused by the use of heating and electricity, as well as buying clothes and shoes adults parents and childless Swedes were not significantly different (p = 0,774) .

The study authors suggest that the main obstacles parents on the way to a more sustainable way of life is a smaller amount of free time that they could spend less carbonella modes of transport, and children’s food preferences. For example, fewer emissions for the production of local vegetables and fish, but the kids prefer dairy products, red meat and sweets.

Scientists have suggested that situation may help, for example, subsidizing state of meat substitutes with a high taste, but also the introduction of more flexible working hours for parents. Only five percent of childless couples said they do not want to have children; the rest were ready to become parents in the future, and without proper government support their consumer habits run the risk of becoming less sustainable.

Earlier we wrote that the persistence of adults in the tasks affect the behavior of children, higher education of mothers reduces the difference in the mental abilities of children.

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