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.
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.
The quick informational video below does a great job explaining why innovation is needed at the point of use and disposal for Styrofoam materials. Let's face it. This is a problem encountered with Styrofoam items by scientists and non-scientists alike.
Yes, laboratory glove recycling services are available in Europe!
Here is a good option when reuse or recycling of pipette tip racks isn't available in your laboratory.
Green chemistry is a solution oriented approach to lab safety with economic benefits. In today's green labs tip I would like to refer you to the OSHA Transitioning to Safer Chemicals Toolkit that highlights how efforts to substitute hazardous chemicals with green chemistry is the most effective way to promote laboratory safety.
Hundreds of open source 3D printer designs for lab equipment are available online that can reduce your lab set up costs in a sustainable way. These items include microscopes, micro pipettes, centrifuges, gel electrophoresis systems and many lab hacks!
Sustainable Stanford Cardinal Green Labs Program uses outlet timers because it can save up to 50% of equipment energy consumption. Learn how your lab can too!