I have officially begun recruiting laboratories to participate in the pilot program. With the help of a principal investigator who is extremely passionate about the environment, I created a pilot program invitation and pilot application to send to all interested scientists. The pilot invitation includes background about laboratory energy use and waste production, mentioning how other top research institutions have begun Green Laboratory initiatives. The pilot program’s timeline was then outlined as follows with my comments in italics:
· Step 1: Interested lab members are invited to apply for participation in the pilot program on behalf of their respective laboratories.
· Step 2: Selected laboratory representatives will be asked to confirm their laboratory’s participation by asking all lab members if they would like to participate in the pilot. At least 75% of the lab must agree to participate. Each of the selected pilot labs will appoint an ‘EcoLeader’ to oversee implementation of sustainability practices under GreenLabs guidance.
It was important to me that all of the participating laboratories are willing and excited to participate, to ensure nobody feels as though they do not have control over their lab’s participation. Other University’s programs have had success with requiring 75% of lab members agree to participate. Additionally, the EcoLeader is a necessary committed person whom I will be working closely with to improve lab practices.
· Step 3: At the onset, each pilot lab will conduct a self-assessment of their current practices with the help of GreenLabs and meet as a group to discuss approaches to be implemented during the pilot program and to address questions and suggestions.
I am planning to meet with each lab’s EcoLeader to go through their lab practices and equipment to identify where the most improvement can be made. Shortly after, I will attend the laboratory’s lab meeting to discuss what changes we are going to implement in their laboratory and address all related questions.
· Step 4: The pilot project will then proceed for the fall quarter, or three months. GreenLabs would aid labs as they progress, providing labs with guidelines and other resources.
I am currently putting together a resource document in the form of a Google Document that each lab will receive. This document will contain all information regarding sustainable practices and resources. I am to continuously update the document to ensure all laboratories are up to date on the best methods.
· Step 5: During the pilot period, labs will conduct periodic assessments of their progress. At the end of the pilot period, GreenLabs will meet with each EcoLeader and their lab as a whole to discuss the pilot program with the aim of improving the GreenLabs program overall.
I received 6 applications to the pilot program from a variety of laboratories. Additionally, the individuals who filled out the application interested in being their lab's EcoLeader varied from lab to lab. Principle Investigators, a Senior Lab Technician, a graduate student, and lab managers have all submitted applications. I am looking forward to working with each EcoLeader and laboratory to reduce their carbon footprints!