Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Interview by: Jake Holtzman
Marleen Watling is a librarian at the Oberlin Public Library. When the weather allows, she bikes all the way to and from her home in North Ridgeville 3 days a week. Biking has become a real positive force in her life, as a way of not only reducing her energy use, but also of feeling healthier and more connected to the environment.
Q: What are some words or images you would use to describe Oberlin?
A: Green is one of the things that comes to my mind. The library seems to be a very busy place, so Im going to say theres a community consciousness about the library thats really right up my alley. Its a joint community of students and people who live here, people who work here, people who own businesses here. I see that as a pretty good union.
Q: How would you define sustainability for yourself?
A: Sustainability to me is about how you can use fewer resources. My thoughts go to recycling, to alternative modes of transportation. You know, rain barrels, planting gardens.
Q: What kind of actions are you taking in your life that you think are contributing to your view of sustainability, and could benefit the community?
A: Well, Ive been biking to work back and forth, and I live in North Ridgeville- about an hour ride. I really just feel better. I was trying to average at least 3 days a week, riding my bike to and from work. And I felt really good about that.
Q: Was that hard to start?
A: No, I love to bike so that wasnt a big problem. Giving an incentive to bike was really fun. It started me on the road. I never would have tried so hard if I hadnt thought, this is a challenge, an internal challenge for me. So I liked the little competition part of it.
Well, Ive been biking to work back and forth, and I live in North Ridgeville- about an hour ride. I really just feel better.
Q: It might be harder to convince some people that these sorts of life choices are important. Do you have any ideas about some approaches you might take to try and convince people?
A: I tried the one-on-one approach with a few people I know. And they think Im crazy [laughs]. I had internal drive to meet some goals I had set. And then I talk to people here when they come and theyre looking for things, and if they talk about growing a garden, Im very quick to show them we have a great collection on gardening. And people might want to know dietary things and workouts and stuff. Im just kind of showing them the resources and talking about what Im doing. You know, if I can ride my bike from North Ridgeville, and Im old, certainly you could walk half a mile to work and not take a car.
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