Chapter 5: Living Sustainably

Leading Minds 3

Part of leaving home to live in a new place is learning about responsibility in your own terms. Sustainability is one of Williams’ core values.  Williamstown is a beautiful place as you’ll find out soon enough first hand, and we all want to keep it that way. An important thing you can do to help in the weeks leading up to arriving here is making your college purchases wisely:

  • Only get what you absolutely need.
  • Re-use things from home.
  • Ask friends if they have something you’re looking for and ask to borrow it.
  • Wait until you get here to buy things (a lot of times it turns out you don’t need half the things you thought you did).
  • Think about where the things you’re buying are coming from and the impact they have on our environment.
  • Refrain from bringing a mini-fridge for your room (one of the largest energy-consumers on campus).
  • Power strips enable students to easily turn off appliances and electronics and to stop energy vampires (who knew there were vampires here?!? But now that we know, they must be stopped!).
  • Reusable mug – help our campus cut down on waste by joining the many students and employees who bring their own mug with them.
  • If you bring your own lamp, bring energy-efficient (and longer-lasting) CFL or LED light bulbs, rather than incandescent bulbs.
  • Clothes Drying Racks – use a collapsable drying rack to dry your clothes. You’ll save money and help the environment by reducing energy usage!
  • You don’t need to bring bottled water. Besides the fact that water bottles are a huge waste issue in the world, you will be given a beautiful reusable Williams water bottle AND the Williamstown tap water is delicious and healthy AND there are bubblers across campus!
  • When you are ready to venture outside Williamstown or travel home for break, there are a number of more-environmentally-friendly options (bike, bus, rideshare, Zipcar). A Williams College Eco-Advisor created this transportation resource website for additional information.

While you can participate in the College’s sustainability efforts in simple ways like above, you can get more directly involved through working with College offices & groups like the Zilkha Center and the Williams Environmental Council (WEC).