Environmental and Laboratory Safety
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 new ACT label from the non-profit, My Green Lab is a simple way for scientists to access 3rd party verified information on life science laboratory products. It has a feel similar to the U.S. food industry's nutritional label. The ACT label scores communicate product associated resource consumption, end of life waste issues and chemical hazard levels. It's definitely useful if your research institution has sustainability goals.
Supporting information is available here:
- First-Ever Environmental Impact Factor Label Opens New Doors for Life Science Industry Sustainable Brands®
- My Green Lab Introduces the ACT Label for Sustainable Laboratory Work Labconscious interview
- The ACT label page on the My Green Lab web site.
Not every scientist realizes that going green in the lab is not just eco-friendly,…it also improves scientific work! Informed scientists understand that green lab operations are designed to save time, while reducing the environmental and financial costs. Check out the latest outreach events!
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.