News & Events

NESEA Pro Tour of the Envi Center

On Friday April 21st, members of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association came to campus to learn more about the Class of 1966 Environmental Center. This visit was part of NESEA’s Pro Tour Series, which provide opportunities “for sustainable building professionals to get to see [high performance buildings] projects in progress with their own eyes, share

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How should we reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

How should we reduce greenhouse gas emissions?  That seems like a pretty simple question on the surface, but dig down and things get complicated quickly. Williams has emissions reduction goals – 35% below 1990 levels by 2020, then carbon neutrality (through the purchase of carbon offsets) by the end of 2020. We have a plan for

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Thinking Ahead to Move-Out. And in related news – Cookies!

Give It Up Move-out is coming soon! If you have items that you no longer want, please bring them to the “Give It Up!” pods that will be located around campus starting the week of May 15th – so that the goods can be donated to local charities.   Look for this banner hanging on moving/storage

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Composting Pilot Program in Dorms

This May a composting pilot program will go into effect in selected dorms. There has been increased interest in composting among students in recent years.  Dining halls all have post-consumer compost and are in the process of getting all the dining halls to have pre-consumer composting as well.  In the last year, Dining shifting all

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Reduce Emissions at Williams – You Decide

You may have heard about “The Wedge Exercise.” Here’s an opportunity for you to try it out yourself. The quick overview: Each activity at Williams College can be represented by a little slice – or wedge – of the total emissions on a pie chart or a graph.  What combination of things would enable us

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Meaningful Mystic Report by Jessica Munoz ’19

Over spring break, eight students and OSL’s Assistant Director for Student Organizations and Involvement Benjamin Lamb went on the Meaningful Mystic Spring Break Out Trip. The students engaged in meaningful work that revolved around environmental sustainability and climate change through a historical lens in Mystic, Connecticut. During late night conversations, they reflected on the issues at hand and deepened their

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Turkey Vulture Hazing at Dodd Raises Questions About Wildlife Management and Land Use

For the past seven years, Assistant Director for Custodial Services and Special Functions Dan Levering told me, turkey vultures have taken up residence on and around Dodd House. Though the vultures first roosted in the trees around the dorm, they’ve grown especially fond of the building’s roof in recent years. Passersby might think the birds

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Learning to Love Local (and Sustainable): Reconsidering Where Our Seafood Comes From

Erica Chang ’18 Originally published in The Williams Record   We have a terrestrial bias at the College. Yes, we live in Williamstown, about 150 miles from the Atlantic, but we are inherently linked to the health and fate of the oceans. The oceans are one of the main climate regulators and its organisms contribute

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In syrup-related news from CES…

Hopkins Forest Maple Jug Design Contest! Showcase your artistic talents in support of the Hopkins Forest maple sugaring operation.  Next year Hopkins Forest will unveil new bottles for their syrup and your design could grace the labels for years to come.  All designs must be adaptable to plastic jugs of 8, 16 and 32 ounces; should depict some aspect

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Students Take on Renewable Energy Projects

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Carbon Offset Research Assistant

The Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives and the Provost’s office are seeking a student research assistant for the summer of 2017.  A task force organized by the provost will be researching the theory and practice of carbon offset markets in order to write a report that will guide the College’s approach to carbon offsetting.  The

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Livestream of Bill McKibben’s Talk at Williams on April 20th at 8pm

BILL MCKIBBEN: OUTSIDE THE COMFORT ZONE Bill McKibben will join the Williams Community for an Earth Week talk, “Outside the Comfort Zone:  Working for Change on an Overheated Planet.” McKibben is an author and environmentalist.  His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change. He is a founder

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Recycle Your Pizza Box – Dump It, Flatten It, Stack It

Our recycler is now accepting pizza boxes! Just remember to Dump It Flatten It  Stack It   Dump it – To get the crust, cheese, waxy paper, and the plastic pizza saver out – mostly to make sure critters don’t come in Flatten it – To make it easier on the Campus Recycling Team who will have

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Seafood Survey

Seafood at Williams survey How does the food we eat affect the environment and communities around us? For my independent study project this semester I have been learning about how we might bring more local, sustainable seafood to our dining halls in order both to heal our marine environments and support local communities. In order

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Large Scale Renewable Electricity Projects

Williams, Amherst, Smith, Hampshire (and sometimes UMass Amherst) are working on several joint projects – we’re hoping to amplify our impact, and we help keep each other sane and on track. One project we’re calling the Community Climate Fund.  (Read more about it here.) The other is related to renewable energy purchasing. Williams is actively investigating

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Art, Food, and Sustainability? An Interview with Eleanor Lustig ’18

“The Ghana ThinkTank is totally separate from everything else I’ve done at Williams,” Eleanor Lustig ’18 told me, one weekday morning in early March. “I got involved because it’s a different angle than I’ve ever taken on sustainability work at Williams.” Lustig has significant experience in activism and sustainability work: She’s a member of thinkFOOD,

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Hiring “Give It Up” Student Employees

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Introducing Composting at Eco Café

Eco Café has become more eco-friendly.  Woohoo!   Here’s the sign.   Here’s the bin. There you go. Composting is up and going at Eco Cafe.     For more information about the process of getting composting into Eco, check out this post from a few weeks ago.

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Bet you didn’t know that these things are recyclable..

Did you know that these items are recyclable?       Solo Cups in the plastic/ metal/ glass recycling bins   Pizza Boxes (grease and all) Important recycling instructions  Take out anything inside (crusts, plastic, wax)  Flatten the box  Stack it behind the paper/cardboard/recycling bin                 Aluminum Foil

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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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Waste Audit 2017 report

In January, students and staff from the Zilkha Center and Facilities conducted a Waste Audit.  Previous Waste Audits had been conducted at the college in 2009 and 2013.  The campus recycling team picked up 3 bags from each of 15 buildings across campus and brought them to Lambert garage.  The buildings selected were meant to

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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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