Like most businesses, you may be looking for green solutions. There are simple and immediate actions you can take for a more eco-friendly lab.
Laboratories require a lot of 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 save you money.
#1 Maintain Your Freezer
Maintaining your freezer and other equipment is a major part of an eco checklist. ULT freezers use a lot of power. Thus, if they are not properly maintained, then they can be an unnecessary drain on 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. 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.
#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.
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.
#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. Did you know that there are biodegradable plastics? These are designed to break down in a landfill. Choosing products from companies that use these types of biodegradable plastic can help with 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.
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