MARIANNE PIETERSEN

AUSTRALIA / NETHERLANDS

'I am a 76-year-old woman, born and schooled in Netherlands.  In high school we were taught that the world was heading towards overpopulation, that resources were limited and we had to learn to recycle because our waste management of dumping, was using up valuable land, causing serious pollution of water, land and air.  Not long after, Dutch cities introduced recycling.

 

I was 16 when I decided not to have children, and I have stuck to it.  I chose to have a career instead.  I moved to New York where I worked as a secretary and studied at night, becoming an economist.  I lived in New York for 11 years, and was appalled at how wasteful people were there. 

Eventually, I moved to Australia, where I was happy to see that many people are practicing recycling.  But what concerns me here is family sizes.  Governments are pushing for economic growth which they hope to achieve by attracting more people.  When will they learn that growth is not the answer?  Recycling, a circular economy and steady or falling population are the answers."