Blog

Eco-Advisor Feature: Jane Tekin

Check out our earlier feature of Eco-Advisor Haley Bosse ’20 here!    Jane Tekin ‘19’s commitment to environmentalism has taken her from English classes to the Bahamas. As a 2016-17 Eco-Advisor, she approaches environmentalism from a humanities perspective, writing that she hopes to “change the [campus] aesthetic so that it better reflects the various personalities

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Fresh Fest 2017 @ Images Cinema

Fresh Fest, a farm and food film festival, is at Images from Friday, March 3 through Sunday, March 5 Admission is free! (Though there is limited seating, and it’s first come, first serve.) Schedule of events Friday, March 3 at 7pm: Forgotten Farms, with filmmakers David Simonds and Sarah Gardner.  Film will be followed by

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“Williams College Joining National Campus Kitchen Effort” – WAMC radio

Williams will become the 60th “Campus Kitchen” site across the country reducing food waste and increasing community food security. Thanks to the students and student groups who led this push! WAMC Northeast Public Radio did a nice radio story on it. Click here to listen to it.

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“Environmentally in Love”

Check out “Environmentally in Love,” a song created by Isabelle Carr ’17 as a final project for SPEC 26: Climate Policy in the New Presidency!      

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Composting Coming to Eco Café

In recent months many students have approached Dining Services and the Zilkha Center asking about the possibility of starting a composting program at Eco Café. Over Winter Study the possibility was first seriously discussed at a Waste & Recycling Working Group meeting with Jerry Byers – the Eco Café unit manager – and students representing the Williams

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Divest Williams Tackles Climate Justice Under Trump

“Climate Justice Under Trump,” a workshop hosted by Divest Williams on January 24th, represents a deliberate effort by the student organization to demonstrate and enact its commitment to environmentalism as an intersectional justice issue. Divest presented the workshop as part of College Council’s new free university workshop program over Winter Study, a series that encouraged

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Indoor Worm Composting!

Most people feel have strong feelings about worms.  Variations on Yuck! is what I hear most from people(or get the hint from their body language) closely followed by Cool!  Then comes those who are intrigued, though still not sure, and tip-toe towards our office’s worm composting bin with their heads pulled back a bit, seemingly worried that

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Defending the Environmental Strategy: On The Effectiveness of the College’s Renewable Energy Plan by Luke Baumann ’19

In September of 2015, President Adam Falk and the Board of Trustees announced that the College would achieve carbon neutrality by the end of 2020, first by reducing energy use and investing in renewable energy, and then by purchasing offsets to account for the remainder of our carbon footprint. Many disagree with the College’s decision

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Campus Sustainability Newsletters

The Zilkha Center finally decided we should put out a newsletter. If you’re interested in receiving monthly newsletters with Williams campus sustainability updates, sign up here to receive them.   Here are our first two newsletters. January newsletter  December newsletter Happy reading!   Find more info about the Zilkha Center and sustainability on the Williams campus on our facebook

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Climate Policy in the New Presidency: Initial Reflections

Postyn Smith ’15, Sustainability Coordinator at the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives, offers pictures and initial reflections on the changing administration gleaned from the winter study travel course that he co-taught this year with his father, Professor Mark Smith of Colorado College. “Climate Policy in the New Presidency” took ten Williams students to Washington D.C. to examine four

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Sorting Williams College’s Trash at a Waste Audit

What’s in your trash? Volunteers gathered at Lambert Garage on January 12th to find out! Working with Facilities and Zilkha Center staff, students sorted through a cross-section of Williams trash: Three bags from each trash room of sixteen residence halls, academic buildings, and dining halls. Participants sorted trash into categories that included mixed paper, corrugated cardboard,

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An Introduction to Waste Management with TAM

As part of her coursework for Professor Joel Lee’s anthropology class titled “Trash,” Sumun Iyer ’18 delved deep into fieldwork that a more squeamish student might have avoided: She (literally) got her hands dirty in the world of trash and recycling collection. To conduct ethnographic research about how workers relate to their work and materials,

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Eco-Advisor Feature: Haley Bosse’s Work on Post-Consumer Waste

Haley Bosse ’20’s focus on post-consumer food waste as an Eco-Advisor has inspired her to initiate several projects that reduce waste through behavioral change. She recently restarted the Zilkha Center’s Compost Greeters program, which she has rebranded as Compost Friends. Greeters first helped students navigate food disposal at all three dining halls at the beginning of

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Water Update: Class of 1966 Envi Center

As you may have read in November, the Environmental Center met six of the seven “petal” requirements during the initial performance year. Net-zero energy is still proving to be challenging, and we are continuing to work on finding the solutions. Water-wise, the building never dipped below half a tank (our tank can hold nearly 6,000

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Office Coffee: Reducing the Waste

Last year I embarked on a mission to replace the Keurig machine in my office. I recruited my colleague, Taylor Bundy ‘13 to join me, and we spent several months researching alternatives.   Here’s what we tried. Hopefully the explanation of our ups and downs on this project will be useful to your department. First

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Refuge Restrooms

A few bathrooms on campus are now listed on Refuge Restrooms. Refuge Restrooms collects information to locate ability-accessible and gender-inclusive restrooms. The two bathrooms in the Environmental Center are on the list are well as one in the Thompson Chemistry building.  Read below for more info on each. And consider adding gender neutral or safe bathrooms

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Luke Baumann – Renewable Energy Intern

“Luke Baumann ’19 is one of six students on Williams’ renewable energy task force, meeting weekly with environmental consultants to study potential projects.” Environmental Impact

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Recyclemania Competition vs. Amherst

From October 24 to November 4, Williams and Amherst will be competing in a waste reduction / recycling competition.  “Recyclemania” is campus-wide and being spearheaded by the student athlete groups and environmental councils from each school.  The winner will be announced at Amherst’s homecoming game (against Williams) on November 12th. The overall idea of Recyclemania is to

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Meet the Davis Center Community Builders!

The Community Builders are a Davis Center-trained, peer-to-peer diversity education group. The DC Community Builders work closely with the DC staff and are part of the Davis Center’s effort to provide education for the campus on issues of identity, power, and privilege in order to build a more inclusive community. Community Builders hold student office

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Social Justice Film Series at Images: “The Hand that Feeds”

“The Hand that Feeds” 7pm at Images Cinema Free Admission Join the Davis Center and Claiming Williams Sometimes you have to make your own justice. Mannered sandwich maker Mahoma Lopez takes the risky step of organizing his fellow undocumented cafe workers against sub-legal wages and abuse by forming an unusual independent union. Talkback to follow.

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“I am Williams” Voices: The Garden

MaKaila DeSano-Smith ’18, a garden intern this past summer, and Sumun Iyer ’18, a member of the Williams Sustainable Growers student group, share their thoughts about what being in the gardens mean to them.

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A Refresher on Composting in Dining Halls

Over the summer, a subcommittee of the Waste & Recycling Working Group met to focus on how to improve composting in dining halls. The subcommittee included Gayle Donohue, Assistant Director of Student Dining, the dining hall unit managers, a number of interested students, and a member of the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives. The group decided to 1) improve

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Fall Caretaking Positions at Hopkins Forest

There are currently several caretaking positions available at Hopkins Forest for this semester. Shifts are weekday afternoons — 3-4 hours. The work involves various aspects of forest management including trail maintenance, gardening, grounds-keeping, boundary posting and more. Let Drew Jones, Hopkins Forest Manager, know if you are interested or would like additional information.  Email Drew.  

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The Slippery Business of Sustainable Seafood in Campus Dining

by Daniel Russell ’19, Zilkha Summer Intern 2016 Where the Williams College Dining Services chooses to source seafood from and the species of seafood selected has much impact on the sustainability of the marine species as a food source. Exactly how sustainable is the seafood that ends up on your plate? The answer may seem

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A Critical Look at Sustainability

by Suiyi Tang ’19, Zilkha Summer Intern 2016          It’s easy to fall into abstraction when thinking about sustainability. The term certainly lends itself to an air of distance, having been cloaked in the (faux) furs of the holier-than-thou who claim to be fighting the good fight. And since the mirage of “sustainability,”

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