The best way to impact waste is to reduce its production from the start. Here are some tips to reduce you lab's contribution to the landfill:
- Once upon a time scientists used glassware instead of plasticware. Consider using glass whenever possible (e.g. for Qiagen kits).
- Consolidate orders, and order what you need (bulk purchases are only a good deal if you need that much). If you only need a small amount, consider asking for a sample instead.
- Purchase from vendors that have sought to reduce their packaging. Many vendors have made conscious decisions to use smaller boxes and less (or no) Styrofoam in their containers.
- Purchase items that have long lifetimes, or that eliminate waste streams. For example, a waste stream of mercury bulbs can be eliminated by purchasing solid state lighting instead; the waste stream associated with photo processing (the developer, the film, etc) can be eliminated by using a digital system.