Community Voices - Midge Brittingham

MiidgeheadshotMidge Brittingham has been a resident of Oberlin since 1969. She is an alumni of Oberlin College, class of 1960, and is the mother of two Oberlin graduates. She served many years with the Oberlin College Alumni Association and is an active layperson at Christ Episcopal Church in Oberlin. She and her husband Smith enjoy hosting meals for international students at their house each Sunday night.

Q: What word or image would you use to describe Oberlin?

A:  Diverse. As a person I know who has recently moved to town said, “Oberlin was a community, especially the schools, there are all kinds of people and different ethnic groups and races and different economic backgrounds, all in a small town.”

Q: If you defined “sustainability” for your own life and perhaps for the life of Christ Church’s congregation, how would you do that?

A: We want to try and conserve, particularly energy, that’s been our most recent church project, not spend more energy than we can possibly save, so we preserve the balance of nature and the rest of us, who are also part of nature.

Q: Are there things that Christ Church is doing to be more “green”?

A: We have done some things. We’ve put in new insulation in the church and the parish hall, and new wiring. There is an active group in the vestry that is working on this with our properties. And we educate ourselves, the whole parish does.

Q: How do you feel these actions that you yourself or the church are taking are important?

A: I think they’re very important, I think we need to keep remembering to think of it, other things get in the way. Money, or lack thereof. Many of these things take more money than we have, though they possibly will save money in the long run.  I think that from a spiritual point of view, [there is] the idea of being stewards, don’t tear [the Earth] apart. We also do things like recycling paper and we don’t use Styrofoam cups, and we use fair trade coffee.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to tell your fellow community members regarding care for the environment or making sustainable life choices?

A: Well, it seems to be the simple things like recycling, just in your own household, are not followed by everybody. It’s not much of an effort. We have a lot of students that come for our Sunday dinners, so instead of bottled water and soda, we use one of the Soda Club, you put your own gas in the bottles and then the flavor, so a lot of students come in and have never seen this, they’re so impressed by this effort. When we think about the coke or juice bottles that are transported hundreds of miles, this is a small effort that we can do and it reaches out to them because they see there is something else that can be done.

Q: You have 40 or 50 students every Sunday?

A: It’s not all international, but it started out that way. It’s more than half. My husband is the one who likes to cook, he makes the bread from scratch, and he makes everything from scratch. We try to use local as much as possible, not always possible for so many people. It’s important to buy locally and use the local stores and restaurants to try and keep those folks going.

Quotes:

“We want to try and conserve...so we preserve the balance of nature and the rest of us, who are also part of nature.”

“It’s important to buy locally and use the local stores and restaurants to try and keep those folks going.”

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Anita Peebles is a 3rd year Religion and Environmental Studies major from Eaton Rapids, Michigan. She is a Bonner Leader, a member of the Interfaith Student Council and a co-leader of Girls in Motion.



Photographer Info: Yvette Chen is a photographer for the Dashboard Project who is interested in the power of media and images. Originally from Princeton Junction, New Jersey, Yvette is a first year student at Oberlin College planning to study sociology and economics. Other than photography, in her spare time, she enjoys cooking and running through Ohio's rural landscapes.

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Guest March 15, 2017

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Anita Peebles
Anita Peebles is a 3rd year Religion and Environmental Studies major from Eaton
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