3. Present data-driven findings to senior leadership indicating the potential for saving, and garner their support.
Our findings were presented to the Senior Operations Team at FAS, and I subsequently requested additional funds to kick off a new Shut the Sash Competition between 14 additional laboratories. Senior management approved, and as of September 2015 Harvard has 33 labs participating in fume hood competitions, up from 19 just a year ago. While these new labs are less fume-hood-intensive as those in CCB, savings can still be found. Estimates suggest this new competition should save an additional $50,000-$73,000, which pushes Harvard's annual savings to around $300,000 per year between both competitions. Considering the operational budget of $4,500 per year for running each competition, this should be a huge success for FAS and the Office for Sustainability. FAS opted to fund a one-year pilot of this competition, and a follow up study is planned for the fall of 2016 to assess the efficacy of the expansion.
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!