Earlier this week, Earth Day celebrations were held in many U.S. cities and around the world. Started in 1970 to raise awareness of the impact human activity was having on the planet, Earth Day is considered the birth of the modern environmental movement.
Here in the U.S. we have a keen responsibility to consider the impact of humans on the environment, because we use much more than our share of the world’s resources. It’s great that so many Americans have become more aware of environmental issues, but we’ll only get so far by reducing, reusing, and recycling. We need to start talking about population growth and its impact on planet Earth.
Since the first Earth Day, 44 years ago, the world’s population has increased by 95% ~ yup, you read that right. In 44 years, the earth’s population went from 3.7 to 7.2 billion. And the folks who study such things, tell us that we can expect to add another 2 billion people to our world by the year 2050.
The issue of population growth is critical to sustaining our planet for both humans and the wildlife with whom we share the earth’s resources.
The Center for Biological Diversity has a great way for people to engage in this conversation AND to take concrete action. They invite volunteers to help distribute Endangered Species Condoms as a way to raise awareness of the impact of global overpopulation.
Speaking of condoms, did you know that millions of women around the world ~ and thousands here in the U.S. ~ would like to delay or stop childbearing? Unfortunately, many of them lack adequate access to effective contraceptive methods. So increasing access to family planning services not only allows people to plan for the families they want, it’s also good for the Earth!
Ensuring access to family planning services is a critical Earth Day issue. Family planning helps to secure the well-being and autonomy of women, while supporting healthy families and communities. Called one of the greatest public health successes of our time, family planning has been shown to:
- reduce pregnancy-related risks,
- reduced infant mortality,
- reduce the need for abortion,
- reduce teen pregnancy,
- and, yes, slow population growth!
Maine Family Planning is proud to be part of a network that operates over 4,400 family planning health centers here in the U.S. We’re also happy to have a close relationship with Pathfinder International, a global leader in sexual and reproductive health.
We encourage you to learn more about what a difference family planning is making, both here at home and around the world. Then pass along your new knowledge to a friend ~ you can start by sharing this blog post!