Scientists who use sustainable lab practices unite the best goals of both Earth Day and the March for Science. Green labs are both protecting natural resources, and using science funding efficiently. Labconscious salutes these efforts!
Here is run down of recent "green labs good news" in celebration of Earth Day 2017!
- The University of California, Davis has dozens of green labs, and was recently declared the most sustainable university in the world! The UC system has committed to goals of Zero Waste by 2020 and Carbon Neutrality by 2025. Their Green Lab program will play an important part to reaching those goals. They will also be holding their Annual Sustainablity fair on April 20th.
- Seeding labs equipment has honored Harvard University with its Sustainer Award. Harvard’s Green Labs Program is working with Seeding Labs to make sure surplus lab equipment from the University’s research laboratories receives a second life across the globe. Seedling labs is such a worthy program, that we hope more labs will use!
- The University of Pennsylvania Green Labs Working Group has a champion in Elicia Preston, a research scientist and lab manager of the Murray Lab in Penn Genetics. She is leading the way on reducing lab waste at UPenn labs! Here is an online copy of the excellent UPenn Green Labs Guide for useful tips!
- MIT's Sensable City Lab created "Treepedia" a tool for the green canopy in 11 of the world's cities. MIT Green Labs also joined the North American Freezer Challenge, adding a friendly competition with Harvard to reduce the high energy usage of ultra low temp freezers. Their Chemical Engineering department is piloting a glove recycling program using Terracycle. We are still very grateful to Lisa Anderson, PhD for granting an interview how how to start a lab glove recycling program.
- The University of Chicago launched their UChicago Green Labs website that lists 12 certified green labs. The site provides guidance for joining in to sustainable lab initiatives - particularly the freezer challenge, glove recycling and pipette waste reduction. We are so proud of Erin Fry for her green labs endeavor, as well as her blogs for labconscious!
- Ten Tufts University labs are participating in The Freezer Challenge this spring. The Tufts Green Labs Initiative is driven by a working group that collaborates through the Office of Sustainability, Facilities Services, Environmental Health and Safety, Purchasing, and researcher in the labs. Getting all the right people involved makes it happen!
- Northeastern University is celebrating the opening of their new Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC), that achieves 33% energy-cost savings over Massachusetts code and 75% energy savings compared to typical laboratory performance. What an incredible and beautiful building!
The sustainability efforts of all of these labs will certainly result in long term benefits to scientific progress and protecting the environment! Best wishes and Happy Earth Day to all!
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!