Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Interview by:Maya Blumenberg-Taylor
Dan Roddy is the Facilities Operations/Painting and Rental Property Manager at Oberlin College.
Q: What word(s) or image(s) would you use to describe this community and why do you choose these?
A: Energetic and diverse. The reason I choose energetic is because everyday when I come into the campus area and the community of Oberlin, I feel a sense of energy around me. You get to see people moving and creating. When you come across miles of empty fields and then come to Oberlin, youre entering an active community with a sense of liveliness to it. There's a lot of activity, theres always something going on; that's why I say its energetic. I choose diverse because there is a very diverse melting pot of people and of all different ages; you see it everywhere you go in Oberlin, regardless if youre in a classroom, office, or building.
There is a very diverse melting pot of people and of all different ages; you see it everywhere you go in Oberlin.
Q: How do you think attitudes towards the environment have changed over time in this community? How your own attitudes changed?
A: I can just give you an example, recycling is one of those things that has come a long way. When I was a teenager the only recycling that was done wasnewspaper. For a long time [newspapers] were the only thing that people saved and recycled. To see how its now expanded to all different recyclable materials is really a remarkable thing. What I do a lot with the hardscape in the grounds, we take recycled brick and use it as a new commodity. To see glass that has been recycled into pavement, to add some texture and some color to it was something that was never done 30 or 40 years ago. Ive had the opportunity to work some larger events, one of which was a zero waste festival, where absolutely everything that could possibly be done to produce zero waste from this large music event was done. They are becoming more and more the regular routine as opposed to out of the ordinary.
Q: What actions are you [or your organization/business] engaged in that relate to helping the environment, the local economy or other aspects of peoples well-being?
A: Starting with the economy, we try to buy local whenever possible. The other thing that we do, in the field of painting and wall coating for example, we are looking at a wall coating thats more reflective. It costs us more, but in the long run we think its going to reduce the need for additional lighting, it will help the wall last longer and its an easier thing to maintain.
You have a built in advantage here at Oberlin, there's a lot of support for environmental changes already and I can point to a lot changes that have already taken place.
We are always looking for things like that. We also have glass. Do we have glass that is more energy efficient, and does it allow for more natural light? We are always asking ourselves those sorts of questions. We are only beginning to scratch the surface here at Oberlin. The nice thing about being at Oberlin is whenever you bring something like these up, those ideas are welcomed. You have a built in advantage here at Oberlin, theres a lot of support for environmental changes already and I can point to a lot changes that have already taken place.
Q: What are the benefits of taking these actions (for you, your family, your organization, the larger community, and the environment)?
A: The biggest thing is that it provides a sense of participation. Something as simple as taking your gutter, cutting it off and running a new hose from your gutter can help because you dont want your basement to flood, but you also dont want your neighbors basement to flood. Its kind of simplistic. Theres a much larger emphasis on where that water is going to go once it hits our roof; we have the ability to repurpose that water. Is there something we can do with that water besides putting it down a drain? You have to look at the ripple effect, the pebble in the water. Our decisions now are gonna pay off down the road; it makes things better for somebody else who benefits more from a saved utility or resource. In the long run, its better for everybody and you have to start somewhere.
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