Root is an Ephventures program focusing on identity, sustainability and social justice. Root provides students with the skills they need to become change-agents on campus and beyond. Recognizing the natural overlap of their work, in 2014 the Davis Center and the Zilkha Center partnered to design Root. We use ‘environment’ to refer to rural and urban, natural and constructed, and sociocultural spaces that shape our interactions with each other and with the world.

Compost Friends

Compost Friends are trained students who help their peers learn how to compost during the beginning of the semester. They ensure both new and returning students know what materials can be composted in the dining halls.

Winter Blitz

Winter Blitz is a community outreach weatherization program that gets students into nearby communities to help seal up houses to make them warmer and decrease winter energy costs for residents. The initiative aims to assist community members who cannot weatherize themselves. You can sign up to volunteer for Winter Blitz and find a handy toolkit to plan your own weatherization program.

Generation Conscious

The GenCo laundry detergent sheets will improve hygiene security for Williams students, reduce the plastic and water waste students generate, and initiate a conversation about circular economies, alternative business models, and environmental justice.  The refill station is plugged into an outlet in the lobby of Mission and dispenses 10 detergent sheets each time a student enters their email address into the machine. 

Give it Up!

Give It Up! enables students to donate their unwanted items at move-out time to local charities and non-profits, benefiting the local community and preventing waste. Donations of appliances, household goods and clothing are sold in the Tag sale at First Congregational Church and the ABC (A Better Community) Clothing Sale in September. Student employees are vital to the success of this important program.


Works in Progress

Recent Zilkha Center Interns have been working on new initiatives to further integrate sustainability into our various departments on campus. Check out some of our current and future planned projects!


Past Initiatives

Equity Drafting Table

In February 2019, the Zilkha Center hosted an interactive art installation called the Equity Drafting Table (EDT). Created by the International Living Future Institute, the EDT is a framework intended to open a dialogue about equity in the built environment.  Broadly speaking it poses questions like: “What will it take to make my community inclusive and robust for all?” and “How can the planning, design, construction, and inhabiting of our built environment create more equitable spaces?”

Green Office Program

Green Offices is a voluntary program which aims to increase the sustainability of workspaces at Williams for faculty and staff. Learn how to make your office more sustainable and tell us what sustainable practices you’re already engaging in by completing the Green Offices checklist. The program has three levels across seven sustainability categories. Each level is designed to further increase the sustainability of your office, and used to assess offices at the College.

Community Resilience Grants

The Community Resilience Grants, introduced amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, invited Williams students to connect with a community organization and investigate: How does your community respond in difficult times?  What challenges are being addressed through advocacy, organizing, individual action, businesses, cross-sector collaborations, legislation, education campaigns, etc that you would like to investigate?



See also “Committees