Social Responsibility and Sustainability

First steps to a sustainable lab

It's easy to make your lab more sustainable. Here are some things you can do right now.

Close your fume hood sash when not in use.
Even if it is fixed flow, it is good safe practice to close the hood, and can reduce the amount of heated or cooled air escaping the room.
 
Manage your chemicals.
Order appropriate quantities, check if there is already the same chemical available, check if others can make use of your unwanted chemicals and, if not, ensure they are disposed of correctly.
 
Manage your freezers!
From how you deal with the freezer heat load to defrosting, there are lots of further tips on how to get the most from your freezers in the S-Labs good practice guide.
 
Purchase energy efficient equipment.
If you are responsible for purchasing equipment, investing in efficient equipment now may save hundreds or thousands of pounds over its lifetime.
 
Switch off equipment wherever possible.
Particularly on weekends and nights.
 
Be conscious of what you use and why.
Plan experiments to avoid repeats, use minimum viable volume of chemicals and samples, and avoid using disposable sterile plastics if possible.
 
Recycle!
Where possible of course.
 
Raise awareness!
Don’t pester your busy lab workers, but many researchers aren't aware of where savings can be made (fume hoods, cold storage, chemicals), and may appreciate your advice and encouragement.