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Make your lab greener

Being green is not only being responsible with resources, it also saves money. Sure, an individual researcher might not notice all the money that is being saved, but it does add up when we all work together to use less resources; especially in the current day of ever more limited financial support from the state of California.

A recent article in the online version of The Scientist give some great suggestions, ranging from being better organized by having a up-to-date inventory of what is in the lab to turning appliances off when not in use. These suggestions arose as only 21% of Harvard campus are lab-space, but they consume 48% of all the energy used on campus. This makes the labs we work in one of the most energy-greedy spaces on campus.

UC Davis has been at the forefront of trying to reduce the energy consumption in both labs (as you can read in The Scientist’s article) as well as campus wide. The new Mondavi Institute for food, brewing and wine sciences uses large storage tanks to catch rainwater for use in the labs. To make this possible for all the research buildings on campus would mean massive retrofitting, which is not financially viable. On the other hand, UC Davis campus is also trying to reduce waste that is being produced by 1000s of students and faculty.

Also the NIH, the nation’s largest funding agency, has a Go Green Lab Challenge, which is currently in draft form. Even on the regular individual consumer market companies start to hone in on energy conservation.

So help your university, your lab and your environment and start using our resources more responsibly.


At the bottom of The Scientist’s article are more links to make your lab greener.

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