The world’s population has surpassed seven billion, meaning the planet is struggling to cope and provide resources for everyone on it. Last year, we reached Earth Overshoot day in August, meaning we used up a year’s worth of planet resources in less than eight months. Something has to change.

It certainly seems like the solution is for people to stop having children, or at least have fewer. But is that a viable solution? Procreation is a touchy subject for most people, and also poses the human rights issue. When China implemented its strict one child policy, the world was shocked. From late term abortions to even child murder, there were some serious and awful ramifications. But is that the direction the world is heading in?

In terms of carbon footprints, having a child is the number one thing that affects yours. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up the dream of having a family. If you want children but also care about the environment, you can.

Having two children is seen as “replacing” yourselves on the planet. Having one child is still an effective way to lower the planet’s population, and we are seeing fewer children born each generation.

Many people also turn to adoption and fostering as an alternative way to enjoy family life without global implications. Adoption is an incredible way to introduce a child into your life and make a difference. There are plenty of children who already exist that need parents, so maybe this is the option for some.

Another element people are undertaking is bringing up their children in an environmentally conscious way as well. From reusable nappies to flexitarian diets and children that respect and learn about nature can all be part of a planet that is working towards growing and learning.