We have an article in this month'sGlamour magazine called "Guys' Weird New Habits: Why? Why?" One new habit we looked into were vasectomies for the under-30 -- it seems a small but growing number of men are doing it. So we spoke with "the King of Vasectomies", urologist Dr. Douglas Stein, who performs about 2,000 a year. And he had an interesting take on how vasectomies are, in part, just the green thing to do:
"Forty percent of pregnancies are unintended. Yes, some of that is teenagers and you're not going to sterilize them, obviously. But a lot of that 40 percent are people who wouldn't mind if the wand of infertility touched them, but something fails (like their planning or their contraception) and they accidentally get pregnant and have the kid.
Almost a quarter of women switch contraceptives at least once a year. Use this quiz to narrow down your choices, then call your doctor.
You have to keep in mind you can recycle every newspaper, Coke bottle, and battery until you die, but you'll never be able to recycle as much as another human being can consume in a lifetime, so preventing one more unintended human is much better for the environment. It's the same thing with your carbon footprint: you can drive a hybrid, ride a bicycle everywhere, use solar power, change your bulbs and you can't possibly reduce your footprint by a factor equivalent to that of another unintended human being. So if you can prevent that, you eliminate an entire lifetime of carbon consumption...
There are activists running around telling people how to consume less energy, but how about we focus on 40 percent of unintended pregnancies. Wouldn't that really be helfpul? That's a far more effective contribution to society in terms of environmentalism than riding your bike, but you don't hear that very much. To me that makes sense.
A woman gets pregnant with her 3rd or 4th kid unintentionally. As he grows, she's driving him here and there -- to Chuck E. Cheese, the babysitter, school, soccer practice. She'll say I'm recycling my Coke cans and I got a Prius, but why didn't she and her husband just get a vasectomy first? They'll say, 'Wow, I can't imagine life without him now' but they'd say the same with a 5th or 6th or 7th or 8th child, but after 2 or 3 they were perfectly content and wouldn't have minded not having any more." -- Dr. Doug Stein
Related: Laurie David's personal tips for living green.
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