Valerie Hardnett

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Valerie Hardnett

Interview by:Jake Holtzman

Q: What words would you use to describe Oberlin?

A: Diverse; unique; different perspectives, religions, and people; traditional.

Q: How would you define sustainability?

A: SPE - spiritually, physically, and economically. Sustainability to me means keeping your resources. Because were in trouble if we run out of resources - water, electricity. Sustaining everything. Use it in a productive way. Dont use all your resources all at once.

Oberlins so small that you dont need to drive your car to IGA. You dont need to drive your car to the library.

Q: Why do you think that sustainability is important?

A: For one, its good for your health. Two, less cars. I mean, Oberlins so small that you dont need to drive your car to IGA. You dont need to drive your car to the library. Also the cost of oil to place into your car - thats another issue. Also pollution in the air...All those components work together. So I think more people need to walk or take different forms of transportation.

Q: How would you communicate the need to live sustainably to other people?

A: I think that our society resists change. Change is part of the environment. If you want the environment to survive in the future for our grandchildren, we have to change the way that we live our lives. And to protect the environment, because its our responsibility too. I think during the summer time, maybe once a month, they could do a bike fair and 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, explain why its good to do sustainability and exercise. They need to do something to get everyone involved, to understand where theyre going.

Q: What got you to start thinking this way?

A: Well, I dont have a car and havent had a car in the last ten years (laughs), so its part of my life. I think for me it was more health reasons than anything, 'cause four years ago I couldnt walk. I was a hundred pounds larger than this. It was time for me to change my way of living. I have always walked or rode a bike to get where I need to go.

Riding your bike is very spiritual. Youre getting close to nature.

Q: Do you have any specific messages for other community members?

A: SPE. Fitness is very important. Exercise and riding your bike is very spiritual. Youre getting close to nature. Oh I love nature, oh my goodness, I love nature. Its beautiful! The fresh air into your body. So it all works together...Were talking about obesity right now, right?

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