'Addressing population growth is far from the only solution to our environmental crises. Decreasing consumption, promoting active transportation and plant-based diets, cutting waste, redistributing resources and power, and pursuing economic degrowth and localisation are all important. The reason I chose to focus my work on population is that the primary way of achieving a more sustainable population – extending sexual and reproductive healthcare and education to all – immediately benefits girls and women, even if the environmental impacts are only felt in the future. Growing up without health insurance in the US made me passionate about the importance of being able to access quality sexual and reproductive healthcare, and I want everyone to have the freedom to make the life-changing decision of whether or not to have a child.
Sometimes I get despondent about our planet’s trajectory and think that if I just don’t have any children, I can stop caring about humanity’s future. But of course, that’s not fair to the millions of children who will still be born each year – and particularly those who will bear the greatest effects of our environmental crises. So instead, I choose to live with hope, looking for ways to help others and minimise my impact on our beautiful planet so that it’s a better place for future generations. After all, protecting the environment is not some kind of elitist ideal; it’s about allowing other people to thrive on a healthy planet.'