Working in a lab setting gives you a unique chance to explore some of science’s most incredible achievements. However, operating a sustainable research facility is just as important as making discoveries. In a culture that continues to prioritize “green” initiatives, scientists and their technicians need to find ways to optimize their workspaces. Learn how to make your laboratory more eco-friendly while contributing to our society’s scientific advancements.
Limit Nonsustainable Materials
If you want to incorporate more environmentally-conscious practices in your lab, consider limiting your nonsustainable materials. The easiest way to do this is by going paperless. Digitizing your records and workspace will eliminate the need for notebook paper, binders, pens and pencils, etc. This practice will reduce your environmental impact and improve your lab’s efficiency.
Conserve Energy With Utilities
Research facilities use a lot of energy to power their specialized tools and equipment. The good news is that there are so many opportunities for labs to conserve power and lower their utility bills. Something as simple as adjusting freezer temperatures could drastically reduce your power consumption. Many lab professionals will also use timers and sensors on their lighting and HVAC systems to waste less energy.
Maintain Your Important Equipment
Laboratory equipment can be expensive and nonsustainable. Metal tools and machines take decades to break down in landfills once labs discard them. If you want to make your laboratory more eco-friendly, maintain your equipment to increase its longevity. Inspect your supplies frequently and follow a strict cleaning routine to get more use out of your tools and keep them out of the garbage.
Take Waste Management Seriously
Labs and research sites must adhere to strict waste management practices. This isn’t just for safety compliance; waste management reduces the impact your waste has on surrounding ecosystems. There are specific rules regarding how laboratories store hazardous waste to keep harmful substances from polluting our water supply and harming wildlife. Make sure you and your team are familiar with local and federal guidelines and take your waste management procedures seriously.
As you can see, it’s easy to incorporate sustainability into your lab setting. Be a positive influence on the environment and use these tips to create a cleaner world for the next generation.
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