Styrofoam coolers are widely used for cold shipping materials used in life science laboratories. How to recycle these coolers is a question that frequently comes up for our labconscious readers. Styrofoam is recyclable but the availability of this service is rarer due to the cost of transporting 100% of its volume to a facility, to recover only 3% of plastic. That's a lot of air space!
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. The video also quickly covers why paper is not always recyclable - and can actually be responsible for greater energy expenditure than in the "life cycle" of Styrofoam items.
Our Labconscious supporter, New England Biolabs is a life science company that has a Sytrofoam shipping take back program for its customers. Unfortunately this type of service is not applicable for research institutions that need to ship their own materials which are biohazardous. In this case, either a fully biodegradable cold shipper, or a point of use Styrofoam recycling system would be ideal solutions!
Best wishes on all your lab bench results! Thank you for thinking about running a green lab. Follow our blog and our twitter account for labconscious news.
Coomassie blue protein gel staining began in the 1960s, and it’s still a fan favorite in biology labs today. While less sensitive as a colormetric method than silver, or fluorescent staining, Coomassie has undergone a significant revolution in recent years. This post presents a few handy tips for this essential life science pigment.
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?