Eco-friendly sex: What is it and how does it impact on climate change?
Now that I have your attention, beyond the environmental impact of plastic, fossil fuel based condoms, this article also raises another point where sex and the environment collide – having children. According to a 2017 study, living car-free saves about 2.3 tonnes of CO2 a year, while sticking to a plant-based diet saves 0.8 tonnes. By comparison – if you live in the developed world – not having a child saves about 58.6 tonnes per year while the carbon footprint in less developed countries is much lower, with a child in Malawi estimated to “cost” no more than 0.1 tonnes. In “The political economy of half earth” Troy Vettese notes that reforesting “only” 800 million ha. of the 3.5 billion ha. of pasture of the 5.0 billion ha. of “agricultural” land on earth would sequester atmospheric carbon pollution by some 85 ppm, bringing it to a much safer level in the low 300s ppm. The agricultural sector produces almost a third of greenhouse gas emissions – more than the transportation sector – and most of that comes from meat production. Vegans (which I confess I am not) require only a tenth as much land as an omnivore to grow their food.
Food for thought in the run-up to COP26 this week.