Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Interview by: Jake Holtzman
Matt Adelman is an Oberlin resident and one of the owners of The Feve. He genuinely loves Oberlin and is committed to care for both the environment and the Oberlin community. He has taken steps with The Feve such as a recycling initiative, a lighting retrofit, and fundraisers for local non-profits.
Sustainability is to be able to make something go on.
Q: What are some words and images you would use to describe Oberlin?
A: The first thing I think of is that Oberlin is changing. Its a good time to be in Oberlin. I feel like there are some remarkable things happening that have a lot to do with the Oberlin Project. Its a really important time for Oberlin as a community to come together with the college to stand out as something. Oberlin has a history of standing out in the world. Now is our opportunity for Oberlin as an entire community, college and city, to be a leader in something. And that is the Oberlin Project. I think that there are a lot of people in town that are encouraged by the possibility that brings and certainly we are at the Feve. I see it as an opportunity for businesses and residents and students to participate in something that is bigger than what many other places are doing in our country, and maybe set some examples for other places around the world.
Q: Im curious how you would define sustainability and how you see yourself fitting into that?
A: Sustainability, I think, is a word that gets overused. It has a specific meaning - sustainability is to be able to make something go on.
Q: Some people think of sustainability as something that embodies environmental concern, economic development, and also social justice. Do you think theres a better word to describe all that?
A: Thats the million dollar question. I think that Oberlin can become a more sustainable community with practices of the Oberlin Project. So a lot of what needs to happen is people in the community need to understand the potential of this idea of sustainability. Its an incredible gift that Oberlin is getting to have people work on this project that covers more than environmental concerns, and
Oberlin is such a great place. I really feel like I belong here.
creates economic development and jobs, to help all community members.
Q: For lack of a better word at the time being, what are some of the specific sustainable actions that youre taking at The Feve and in your own life?
A: When somebody finds a place that they like, and they realize that place does those things that are important like recycling and such, then theyre more likely to do it themselves at home. For that reason, I think its more important for us to be more local. We recently, through the Oberlin Project, learned of the rebate program that is available to businesses that allows you to purchase certain energy efficient items like light bulbs and equipment. So we replaced all our incandescent bulbs with LEDs. Currently, were saving over 6000 watts an hour by replacing our incandescent bulbs. And the Oberlin Project helped us - the reason we could afford it was because of the rebate program, and you know, doing it helps us be a more active participant in the practices that the Oberlin Project is trying to do. We have since started recycling I would say over 95% of our corrugated cardboard, which has reduced the size of our dumpster. We try to recycle all of our glass and all of our aluminum and all of our plastic and all of our steel, and you know, we would be thrilled to be able to compost. We would be, dare I say, excited to use compostable carryout containers if that was something that was happening in our community. I would support the idea of making compost mandatory in town. To have curbside composting would be the right thing for Oberlin to do, for a forward-thinking community.
Q: Do you have any specific messages about environmental consciousness or any other form of sustainability that you would want to share with other community members?
A: Were just trying to lead by example. We have the ability to be leaders and we are sort of leaders. We like to do what we do and we love Oberlin. Oberlin is such a great place. I really feel like I belong here, and we like doing things to make things good for people. And we just started doing these fundraisers for nonprofit organizations. Our first one we did for the stray cats, so we did an all you can eat taco bar that was $10, and all of that money went to cats. That evening they raised like $1500. So its something that were going to continue to do for different organizations, places that are in Oberlin. Its just another thing were doing to help people in the community.
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