Food & Water

A final No Impact Week celebration featured a wholesome student-cooked meal of hearty lentil vegetable soup, spinach salad with roasted vegetables and avocado dressing, onion and cheese cornbread, and Swedish apple cake.

A final No Impact Week celebration featured a wholesome student-cooked meal of hearty lentil vegetable soup, spinach salad with roasted vegetables and avocado dressing, onion and cheese cornbread, and Swedish apple cake.


Williams College is situated in the Northern Berkshires and sits in the middle of a vibrant regional farming community that encompass most immediately the Berkshires, the Hudson Valley, and Southern Vermont.  According to the Williamstown Agricultural Commission, “Twenty-eight local farm families grow and sell fruit and vegetables, flowers, annual and perennial plants, corn, hay, and straw. They raise horses, pigs, beef and dairy cattle, sheep, goats, alpacas, chickens.  They produce maple syrup, cheese, butter, lumber, firewood, and more.”

There are a number of great farms nearby with whom Williams (Dining, student groups, professors) has some sort of relationship.   Caretaker Farm, Cricket Creek Farm, Peace Valley Farm, East Mountain Farm – just to name a few in Williamstown.

Williams College Dining

Williams Dining is committed to buying local, fresh food whenever possible, and is a member of Berkshire Grown, an organization which promotes sustainable agriculture.

Click here for Venues, Hours, & Menus

List of local/sustainable food vendors from whom the college purchases
Map of all the campus dining venues

Map of all campus dining venues – marked w/ a fork & knife

Dietary Accommodations – Dining works to accommodate all student dietary restrictions.  For more information and to talk with Dining about your needs, follow this link.

Taste of Home – Dining also encourages students (and families) to submit recipes for meals you grew up eating with your family.  To learn more and to submit recipes, visit the Taste of Home webpage.

Meatless Mondays began as a student initiative and is now a weekly fixture of the menu at Driscoll Dining Hall. Thanks to the skill of the management and kitchen staff at Driscoll, this weekly meal helps to educate students about the multitude of ways to eat a full and satisfying meal without meat.

A history of sustainable food – For a number of years, Williams had a Sustainable Food & Agriculture Program that was housed in the Zilkha Center.  That program no longer exists but its mission is woven into the sustainable food work on campus.  And its impact and history is also preserved here and here.

Reusable To-Go Containers – In order to decrease waste and costs, Dining coordinates a Reusable Container Program focusing on reusable bags for Grab ‘n Go and reusable clamshells for the dining venues in Paresky.

Reusable travel mugs decrease waste. Goodrich Coffee Bar and the Zilkha Center designed and created a mug that is sold at a number of dining locations, as well as at Goodrich and the Environmental Center.  Every time you bring a reusable mug, you get a reduced price on your drink.  Ask Tunnel City about reduced price on drinks when you bring a reusable mug there as well.

For other information about how to get involved in sustainable food, check out the Participate page and the Campus Resource Use page.

COMING SOON – Sustainable Food:  Goals & Campus Definition


The water in Williamstown is safe to drink and, for what it’s worth, we think it’s delicious!

Water Background

Williamstown is situated among the Taconic Mountain range, which has an abundance of fresh water, and a lush green landscape that sits above a large aquifer. Furthermore, weather patterns and vegetation in the mountainous region provide for a healthy hydrological system.


Water Conservation

Despite the regional abundance of water, Williams College is exploring conservation methods and practicing sustainable use patterns. Educating the Williams community in the importance of responsible water use is an important component of a developing an understanding of sustainable living, and making environmentally friendly choices in life beyond Williams. For the region, using regional water resources sparingly will aid in preserving the beauty and vitality of the region for future generations.

During the College’s fiscal year of 2009, (July 2008-June 2009), Williams college used 44,173,888 gallons of water. There was a functional equivalent of 2909 persons on campus in that year – each person used an estimated 15,185 gallons in FY09, or 41.6 gallons of water per person per day.

Water use decreased nearly 15% from a peak of 51,780,300 gallons in fiscal year 2006 to 2009. This decrease was likely due to installation of water efficient fixtures and appliances across campus, including low flow showers, low flow sink fixtures, waterless urinals, and water efficient dishwashers. Some initiatives such as tray-free dining also may have had an impact on water use.

waterless urinals and low flow fixtures in Shapiro Hall