Community Voices - Valerie Hardnett

12042013 YC valeriehardnettWords to describe Oberlin.

Diverse, unique, different, different perspectives religions and people, traditional

When did you come to Oberlin? Why?

She has been in Oberlin for 7 years. Wanted to bring her daughter to school here.

What is your definition of Sustainability?

SPE - spiritually, physically, and economically.

Sustainability to me means keeping your resources. Because we’re in trouble. Cause we run out of resources - water, electricity. Sustaining everything. Use it in a productive way. Don’t use all your resources all at once.

 Why is sustainability important to you?

“For one reason, It’s good for your health. Two, less cars. I mean, Oberlin’s so small that you don’t need to drive your car to IGA. You don’t need to drive your car to the library. I mean seriously. Also the cost of oil to place into your car - that’s another issue. And also pollution in the air...All those components work together. So I think more people need to walk or take different forms of transportation.

How would you communicate that to other people?

I think that our society resists change. But change is part of the environment. If you want the environment to survive in the future for yourself and for my grandchildren, we have to change our way that we live our lives. And to protect the environment, because it’s our responsibility too.

What motivated you to start thinking this way?

Well, I don’t have a car and haven’t had a car in the last ten years (laughs), so it’s part of my life. And I think with me it was more health reasons than anything. Cause 4 years ago I couldn’t walk. I was a hundred pounds larger than this...It was time for me to change my way of living - jump on my bike, walk everywhere. So it’s my way of life. I have always walked or rode a bike to get where I need to go...

Specific messages for other community members?

SPE (spiritual, physical, and economical). Fitness is very important.

If you have a neighbor next door that’s going to the store, take that person to the store too...

Exercise and riding your bike is very spiritual. You’re getting close to nature. Oh I love nature, oh my goodness, I love nature. It’s beautiful! The fresh air into your body. So it all works together...We’re talking about obesity right now, right? So it all works hand-in-hand together.

Sustainability is using less as much as you can.

I come home and the house is lit up, I’m all ‘Why you have several lights on? You only need one on.’ [laughs]

Instead of taking a 30 minute shower take a 5 minute shower...

Recycle.

I think maybe during the summer time once a month, they could...do a bike fair, put on a bike relay in Oberlin. Get everyone involved with this, explain what are you guys doing. So everyone in the community feels part of something. You could have a bike relay with the children, go on the bike path for maybe 5 or 6 miles, explain why it’s good to do sustainability and exercise. I mean they need to do something to get everyone involved, to understand where they’re going. Right, I think maybe like a picnic or something...

[Asked about the Environmental Dashboard - located at Oberlin Public Library, Slow Train Cafe, and Prospect School]

Oh yeah I read those, I read everything. I think they’re informative, giving information.

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I am a second year Oberlin College student majoring in environmental studies and piano. I come from San Rafael, California, and have been involved with sustainability at home as well as in Oberlin, especially through local foods and community gardens. I have also had the pleasure of interning with Zion Community Development Corporation for the past few months; I have been helping organize their community forums, editing their newsletters, and working in their community garden, and I am glad to have gotten to know the local community better in the process. I look forward to making more community connections, and hearing about all different kinds of creative ways people are engaged with sustainability locally.



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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Jake Holtzman w/YC
I am a second year Oberlin College student majoring in environmental studies and
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