While laboratories are often the source of many valuable discoveries and advantageous products, their impact on the environment often isn’t all that great. Most laboratories consume a substantial amount of energy and produce a significant amount of waste—not the best combination for Mother Earth. To learn how to reduce the carbon footprint of your workplace, check out these effective ways to make your laboratory more green.
Look for Opportunities To Cut Back on Plastic
Laboratories often produce an exorbitant amount of plastic waste. From plastic bottles and tubes to pipettes and plastic packaging for new supplies, the amount of plastic waste can quickly get out of hand. Since plastic can take several years to decompose and typically unleashes toxic substances into the soil during the process, reducing plastic consumption should be a top priority for all eco-conscious individuals.
Some of the most effective ways for labs to cut back on their production of plastic waste is by replacing plastics with glassware, ordering products with minimal packaging, sterilizing and reusing plasticware, and making an effort to recycle plastics when possible.
Reuse Your Solvents
In many laboratories, solvents are frequently used consumables. However, solvents don’t have to be used up so quickly. With the right equipment, you can reduce or completely eliminate solvent waste in your lab.
Solvent recovery tanks allow you to recover and reuse solvents to minimize waste products that damage the environment. In addition to decreasing harmful waste products, solvent recovery tanks further benefit the planet by reducing the production and shipment of virgin solvents.
Cut Energy Consumption
In addition to waste production, energy consumption is another key area of concern when it comes to the negative environmental impact of laboratories. As such, another impactful way to make your laboratory more green is to reduce energy consumption from the wide variety of large, energy-hungry equipment in the facility. An easy way to do so is by ensuring that all devices get shut off when not in use. For specific types of equipment that need to run continuously—such as refrigerators or freezers—try to put them on a setting that will minimize electricity consumption.