Running a laboratory can have a huge impact on the environment. The various testing and research equipment, chemicals and their storage, sterilization processes, energy usage and many other aspects of the lab can leave huge carbon footprints and also incur higher costs. While none of these factors can be eliminated, adopting greener processes can curb the adverse environmental impact to a considerable extent.
Going green is not as difficult and expensive as it looks. If you want to make your lab eco-friendly, careful use of the equipment and taking small measures in the right direction can reduce environmental endangerment and save you money also. Here are a few pro tips that will help you to plan, reduce, recycle and sustain.
Recycle Glass, Paper and Plastic
If you keep well-labelled dustbins that read ‘recycle bin’ all around, you can train your staff to categorize and dispose of. When any science laboratory equipment or items are no longer of use, it can be sent for recycling. Such waste materials might include glass, paper, and plastic. These can be segregated and recycled into useful items by the concerned agencies. That way, you will make a huge impact on the earth’s eco-system by minimizing permanent waste.
Organize the Freezer
This is a simple tip that goes a long way. Do not keep the freezer door open for very long. A freezer consumes a lot of energy to maintain its temperature. If you keep it organized, you can locate things faster and close the door quickly, as a result of which your freezer will consume lesser energy comparatively. Similarly, you should develop a habit of emptying freezers regularly. Any samples or chemicals that can be stored at room temperature should be kept out of the freezer. Make it a point to keep regular checks on the freezer to dispose of things that are no longer of use or expired. Free up freezer space as and when possible so that you can manage with lesser units too.
Reduce Transport Carbon
It is a good idea to plan in advance for your transportation requirements. If you have consignments to be received, consolidate all your orders into one with a particular supplier so that numbers of transport trips are lessened. This also acts as an energy and cost saving strategy.
Choose Suppliers Carefully
Before finalizing your supplier, try to find out the ones offering greener products and science equipment. Suppliers who provide sustainable practices, recyclable packaging and eco-friendly equipment must be preferred.
Search for Environmental-friendly Alternatives
There are chemicals that are available in less dangerous and more eco-friendly forms. You can think of avoiding the more hazardous ones and use the safer ones which are mostly cheaper too.
Get Proactive in Making Your Office a Greener Space
The best way is to take greener steps all around. Switching off lights, fans and air-conditioners when not in use, putting computers on sleep mode frequently, and switching off equipment when not in use should be standard rules to follow in the lab.
By reducing your environmental footprint in science, you are doing a huge favour to nature!