Arden Holden, a senior on the women’s soccer team, is passionate about sustainability! She is majoring in environment, economy, development and sustainability; one of the newer programs in the School of Environment and Natural Resources. We got to talk to Arden about how she implements sustainability into her daily life and why it matters to her.
Sustainability takes on many definitions and meanings. Can you tell us what the term sustainability means to you?
Sustainability is taking into account environmental and social responsibility while considering economic sensibility. Sustainability is a unique and adaptable term that can fit into what an organization needs or requires but there should still be a standard of what is considered sustainable.
Why are you passionate about sustainability?
I think it’s an important field. I first gained passion for sustainability during high school. I’m from Las Vegas, which has a big drought problem. One day I was reading a magazine article about the drought and how Lake Mead [the largest manmade lake in the US] has been struggling with water levels [due to drought and water demand]. That kind of sparked my interest in environmental issues and helping to mitigate those problems.
What does a sustainable lifestyle mean for you personally?
For me, it means that I consider sustainability for my day-to-day decisions. Part of the reason I became a vegetarian is because I don’t believe meat production in the U.S. is sustainable. I am going on by fourth year of vegetarianism.
I recently bought a bike from Once Ridden Bikes. I understand that cars have a negative environmental impact and I am trying to limit my carbon footprint.
I also recycle at my house off campus. Since we don’t have access to recycling at our house, I take my recycling to SWACO bins in Columbus. It’s free and I just drop off my recycling.
What do you do to live sustainably?
I bike most places, including to work and practice. I don’t eat meat and I avoid buying bottled water. I bring a reusable water bottle most places I go. I use reusable bags every time I go grocery shopping. I have had the privilege of working in the sustainability department at Ohio State and my boss takes all of our food scraps home and composts them at his home.
What was the biggest lifestyle change you made?
Becoming vegetarian and biking instead of driving are my biggest changes so far. But as I get older, I have more opportunity to make sustainable life choices, such as choosing the location I live at and what kind of house I live in. The larger your property, the more resources it requires so that is something to take into consideration. It also enables an unsustainable transportation system where people live potentially an hour away from work and have to take a car.
Are there any challenges you face in your daily routine?
It can be challenging being vegetarian on soccer team trips. Sometimes we go to restaurants that aren’t super vegetarian friendly. For biking, sometimes I’m tired and not up for a bike ride to work or practice. Additionally, the weather can be unfavorable for riding my bike. In terms of a career in sustainability, it’s still a growing field and people are slowly realizing its importance.
How do you overcome/plan to overcome those challenges?
I take time to integrate them into my daily routine so that it becomes second nature.
What are the positive results that you have experienced from any of these lifestyle changes?
I feel good. Even though I don’t have meat in my diet, I never feel depleted or that I am not getting enough fuel for workouts. When I’m biking I get to enjoy the outdoors, especially in the summer. When I recycle or compost, it makes me feel good to know that I am diverting waste away from landfills.
Anything else you would like to add?
After working in one of the sustainability departments at Ohio State, I think it is important that not only the students, staff and athletes participate in sustainability initiatives, but our fans are just as important in helping us reach our university sustainability goals.