Donna Hayden, an administrative assistant for the Writing and Rhetoric Department, shares how she lives green. Photo by Grace DeSanti.

Donna Hayden talks about her environmentally-friendly lifestyle

The environment is a large part of Donna Hayden’s life, so much so that she keeps her office as close to nature as possible. 

Hayden, an administrative staff member in the Writing and Rhetoric Department plays the sounds of birds through her speakers and has plants placed around her office.

She has felt connected to nature for as long as she can remember, but it wasn’t until she grew up that she started to go green. Hayden considers herself an advocate for the Earth and a voice for saving the planet.

“It’s important we have a voice, especially in this country where we have a free voice,” Hayden said. “We can say whatever we want and so I do that. I do like to express my feelings whether it’s verbally, written or through bumper stickers, I’m doing it more with bumper stickers now.”

When Hayden came to the University of Rhode Island, she gravitated towards the University’s environmentally conscious programs. Hayden is the green ambassador for the Writing and Rhetoric Department. Her role is to help the department be as green as possible and promote a green lifestyle.

“We have a compost bucket in the all-gender bathroom and I’m proud to say we recycle,” Hayden said. “I believe that the Writing and Rhetoric Department has the same thoughts as me. We are striving to conserve and be sustainable for now and in the future.”

Not only does Hayden have a part in making URI more green, but she also strives to be green in her personal life.
“I have thirty-seven solar panels on my roof,” Hayden said. “I guess my purpose might be to help the planet. Sometimes we ask ourselves ‘What’s my purpose? Why am I here?’ For me, this is the answer.”

Hayden also gardens, composts and eats pescatarian, though she plans on going vegan. She attends protests and participates in many activities that are about enjoying nature. She makes all of these decisions so that the next generation can live in a clean world. 

Hayden recommends thinking of going green as a challenge for yourself. Taking these steps doesn’t have to be a hard thing to do, as everyone has the ability to contribute to saving the environment. Whether you get a metal straw or decide to go vegan, Hayden believes every step helps. 

Hayden has been working on going green for many years, but there are some easy ways to start going green.

“If you’re just starting out recycle if you don’t have recycling bins take your recycling to a recycling center,” Hayden said. “Use a laundry line instead of a dryer, it saves energy. Compost all of your scraps and use it to grow plants. Just be aware.”