1. Build a strong team to help collect and analyze data for benchmarking.
My first step in expanding the competition was to validate the savings from the current program. I needed to determine whether the fume hoods were still saving the amount of energy that the competition intended. After locating a number of new labs where "shut the sash" could potentially make an impact, I decided to compare fume hood management between the labs.
Between February and April 2015, I worked with Wendy Chen, a graduate student at Harvard Extension School to test the hypothesis that the Shut the Sash program was the optimal method in making fume hood operation more efficient. I collected building management system (BMS) data from several buildings, and utilizing the talents of the graduate student we compared the results. We also had to make some generalizations on fume hood operational costs. With the help of Siemens engineers and building managers, we determined that the "average fume hood," has a cost of $7.43 per CFM of exhaust per year. Obviously some fume hoods save more than others by closing the sashes, but for the sake of this study we normalized the operational cost.
Many scientific facilities are directing their scientists to utilize lab supplier recycling programs to help meet their sustainablility goals. The following list, with links, is meant to be a quick reference. It may be incomplete. Please send us the name of any other recycling program that you know of, and we will update this list.
A great advance in DNA synthesis efficiency has just been reported in Nature Biotechnology, that also eliminates solvent hazardous waste requirement.
Scientists from CU Boulder's Biochemistry Department are now saving over $250,000 yearly from their research budgets, by using a shared cell culture facility, instead of individual lab cell culture spaces. It's a spectacular result and it makes sense!
View a list of four options for used laboratory equipment....Plus get inspired by George Washington Carver, an American botanist and early environmentalist. His epitaph reads "He could have added fortune to fame, but caring for neither, he found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world".
Not only is going green good for the environment, but it's also good for science funding. This CU Boulder case study shows that shared equipment makes cell culture work more convenient, economical and environmentally friendly.
As more scientific researchers are becoming aware of the economic, environmental and safety benefits of green procurement, reliable systems are needed to make so called "green procurement" easy to accomplish.
It is well known that putting sustainability upfront is the key to its success in laboratories, and all work places. That's just why the U.S. General Services Administration (or GSA) provides a comprehensive online resource for green purchasing by federal agencies, called the GPC - Green Procurement Compilation.
This Thursday March 1st, our Editor Nicole Kelesoglu will be presenting a webinar for an event series by the University of Virginia Green Lab Program. This webinar will cover ways to reduce laboratory waste and highlight how lab minimalism can give you a competitive advantage for research grant funding.
Awareness of micropipette tip box recycling has been spreading among U.S. labs and tip system manufacturers. Did you know that after taking into account your local conditions, it is also possible to recycle pipette tips?
Biologists must prioritize getting reliable results when purchasing chemicals, reagents, plastic ware, glassware and lab equipment. However, this need should be balanced with environmental and human health concerns.