Just about every single industry is actively looking for new ways to implement earth-conscious policies. Of course, scientific industries are no exception. Like most other businesses, you’re likely looking for green solutions regularly. Fortunately, there are simple, immediate actions you can take for a more eco-friendly lab.
For the most part, laboratories require a lot of different resources. Generally speaking, these resources have a large carbon footprint. While most of these issues are out of your control, a few simple changes can help save the environment as well as your annual budget!
Published originally on August 1, 2019, this post has been updated for accuracy and relevancy.
1. Maintain Your Lab Equipment
Maintaining your freezer and other equipment is a major part of an eco-conscious checklist. Admittedly, ULT freezers use a lot of power. Thus, if they’re not properly maintained, then they can be an unnecessary drain on your resources.
Not only is overworked freezers an issue for the environment, but they can also increase your bills. A simple way to prevent this is to do regular maintenance checks on your equipment. There could be mechanical issues to be corrected, or the gaskets could not be sealing properly.
2. Share a ULT Freezer
If your research or daily operations require a ULT freezer, then you know it is a large and important investment. This is especially true now that we have the COVID-19 vaccine. Sharing a freezer with another department or research group may not seem appealing at first.
However, this can greatly reduce your energy usage. Not only will you only need to provide power to one ULT freezer, but it will use less energy to stay cold with more items in it. In addition, if your ULT freezer fails, the expense won’t fall entirely on you.
3. Get a Mop and Reusable Rags
Spills will happen! While it may seem easier to grab a paper towel and throw it away, there are better options. Believe it or not, such simple measures can have a significant impact on your carbon footprint.
When you keep eco-friendly options around your lab, workers are more likely to use them. Keeping a mop and rags nearby will reduce your daily waste. This will be most noticeable when you are carrying out your regular freezer defrosting. Ultimately, the collective waste prevention will end up much greater than you ever could’ve anticipated.
4. Match Your Waste to Your Disposal Service
Laboratories are sure to use plastic. Without proper access to a recycling program, incinerator, or compositor, then those plastics will end up in a landfill. But did you know that there are also biodegradable plastics?
Manufacturers design these to break down in landfills. Choosing products from companies that use these types of biodegradable plastic can have a massive impact on your green initiative.
5. Unplug Unused Equipment
While it is not possible to turn off some lab equipment (like your ULT freezer) but turning things off while not in use will save energy. When appliances are plugged in, they slowly take in power.
Many people already practice this in their homes when not using simple appliances, like toasters and food processors. So, the same logic applies to labs, even though the appliances are bigger. One way to combat bulky appliances being inconvenient to turn off, is to plug them all into a power strip. This allows you to flip the off switch when leaving for the day. Additionally, it will prevent your expensive equipment from frying in a power surge.
Conclusion – Cryostar Industries
Implementing such simple measures will ultimately have an enormously positive impact on your carbon footprint. In addition, they’ll not only help with your contribution to saving the planet, but wind up more cost-efficient, as well.
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