WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., November 3, 2015— On Saturday, Nov. 7, Williams College students will participate in the eighth annual Winter Blitz, a day of service dedicated to weatherizing homes in Northern Berkshire County, as well as Pownal and Bennington, VT.
Organized by student interns and volunteers for the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives, students head out in teams of 4 or 5 and prepare local homes for the upcoming winter. Each group has a team leader trained by experienced students and Pittsfield-based nonprofit Center for EcoTechnology. All materials are paid for by the Zilkha Center.
This year, more than 100 volunteers from Williams and partners Bennington College, Southern Vermont College, and MCLA will weatherize more than 40 homes, installing storm windows, door sweeps, and energy-efficient light bulbs. Cracks around doors and windows in homes result in heat loss, which drives up energy costs and requires more energy use. Weatherizing homes saves money and energy for the residents and contributes to broader energy conservation efforts. It also helps foster connections between students and local residents. There has been great interest in the program from nearby residents – with over 90 homeowners expressing interest in home weatherization. With such a large number of interested homeowners this year, the Zilkha Center is looking to expand the project through the fall and early winter.
Student leader Divya Sampath ’18 says the best part of Winter Blitz has been receiving feedback from families and homeowners about how much they have appreciated having Williams students take an interest in the community. “I think it really highlights how closely environmental initiatives can align with social justice,” she says. “We’re entering a conversation about the local challenges we’re not always able to see from our campus, with a goal of finding sustainable low-cost solutions.”
Recently, the college announced an ambitious set of goals aimed at addressing climate change by reducing the college’s greenhouse gas emissions, achieving carbon neutrality, and investing in sustainability projects on campus and off. The Winter Blitz project supports these goals and reflects the college’s commitment to direct, meaningful action in the fight against climate change.
For more information on sustainability initiatives, visit the Williams College sustainability website at http://sustainability.williams.edu.
From the November 3, 2015 Press Release
Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]