Partners in Climate Action with GreenCentre Canada
The equipment, facilities and instrumentation in laboratories are necessary to perform the critical R&D activities that provide new medicines, cutting edge devices, better products and novel process that are essential to our quality of life and to insure the safety of lab personnel. The operation of labs typically utilizes a significant amount of energy and generates a substantial amount of waste. This provides an arena ripe with opportunity for reduction of both GHG emissions and waste through identification of habits and procedures that can be modified to address sustainability.
GreenCentre Canada is working with My Green Lab to promote lab sustainability and administer a green lab assessment tool to help both academic and industrial Ontario-based R&D labs identify areas of potential energy savings and waste mitigation. The Green Lab Assessment Program is funded through the Province of Ontario’s Partners in Climate Action grant program, which is designed to identify and support the development, testing and evaluation of innovative ideas to accelerate the adoption of low-carbon choices by Ontarians. “ With the help of the Government of Ontario and My Green Lab, GreenCentre is excited to be part of this program to help labs identify areas to improve their sustainability and ultimately reduce GHG emissions and waste”, said Dr. Preston Chase, Director of Academic Business Development and primary administrator of the Green Lab program. “We are anticipating a real and lasting impact on saving energy and water while maintaining and potentially improving the operation of labs across Ontario".
For more information, please visit the Green Lab Assessment Program website, and check out the feature blog post below from Ross, a post doctoral fellow in one of the first labs to participate in the program!
Congratulations to GreenCentre Canada for being awarded a Partners in Climate Action Grant!
Tips to Green the Holidays
The holidays are quickly approaching! With all of the festivities and celebrations, we often tend to forget how important it is to properly close down the lab, which is why we are sending you a friendly reminder and list of our top 3 suggestions for a safe, sustainable laboratory:
1. Turn off and unplug equipment - not only will this save electricity, it will also help prevent fires, short-circuiting, and surges after a power outage. Don't forget about vacuum pumps, biosafety cabinets, stirring hot plates, computers, and the lights!
2. Close nitrogen and water lines that do not need to be running. This will avoid waste and floods!
3. Ensure all chemical and solvent containers are closed tightly, stored properly, and inventoried. Taking care of this before leaving the lab will help prevent accidents, and ensure everything is in good condition and can be located upon your return.
My Green Lab Welcomes New Members to Our Community
My Green Lab attended the Society for Neuroscience meeting in November, and once again, our booth was incredibly popular! We had the pleasure of meeting nearly 2,000 new scientists over four days, and we’re excited that many of them have since joined our MGL community. To our friends from SfN, welcome!
For those of you who haven’t visited our booth at a scientific meeting yet, or for those of you who want to see how much you’ve learned, we challenge you to take our sustainability quiz. If you score 100% on our quiz we’ll enter you into a draw to receive a My Green Lab t-shirt, made from recycled plastic bottles!
New Eco-Label for Lab Products
Accountability. Consistency. Transparency.
The continuous expansion of the already overwhelming number and variety of products on the market for research laboratories can make it challenging to compare and identify the environmental footprint of chemicals, reagents, consumables, equipment, and other products.
My Green Lab launched the ACT label to fix that. Think of a nutrition label - you check the calories to get an overall sense of the nutritional value, and then individual components are broken down in more detail. Likewise, ACT gives an overall Environmental Impact Factor (EIF) where a lower value reflects a lower environmental footprint. The individual components of manufacturing, user impact, end of life are further detailed.
Cooler Foam Alternatives
Now more than ever, it is clear that expanded polystyrene foam (EPS), also known as Styrofoam®, is a primary source of pollution. It is accumulating in in oceans where it is mistaken by many animals as food, around cities and roads, and in landfills. EPS is made from the monomer styrene, which is associated with a number of negative, serious human health effects. Take a look at the Clean Water Action California EPS Fact Sheet for more information.
There are a number of alternatives that exist, including biodegradable fungi replacements, and options for nearly every packaging need.
August Newsletter - A Guest Podcast Appearance and an Introduction to Our Partners
My Green Lab's First Podcast!
We are excited to have been a guest on the Campus Energy and Sustainability Podcast. Curious to learn more about how My Green Lab got started, or how you can save energy in your lab? Listen in, and be sure to send your thoughts and questions our way!
Featuring Our Non-Profit Partners: Beyond Benign, I2SL, and Westchester Biotech Project
Be Part Of Something Great
Take action today and have a direct impact on the sustainability of scientific research! Did you know there are over 200,000 labs in the U.S.? My Green Lab is working to make sure that every one of these has the resources and support they need to continue to produce world class research while having minimal impact on the environment. As a small non-profit, we cannot achieve that goal without your support. Today we ask that you join us in our mission by pledging $1 per month to My Green Lab. Together we can make sustainable science a reality.
ENERGY STAR® Rating for Laboratory Freezers
If you follow MGL you are probably familiar with the statistic that one ULT (-80) freezer consumes as much energy as a single family home every day. Well that statistic is about to change. The EPA has recently released an ENERGY STAR® rating for ULT freezers, and these ENERGY STAR freezers use 60% less energy than their standard-efficiency counterparts. A complete list of ENERGY STAR-rated ULT freezers will be posted on the EPA website later this year.
The nearly decade-long effort to establish energy standards for ULT freezers involved contributions from over 100 people representing almost as many organizations. Together we led the establishment of an ENERGY STAR rating and drove the redesign of freezers with energy efficiency in mind, leading to a potential savings of 500 million kWh/year nationwide and a significant reduction in the use of high global warming potential refrigerants. Together we have begun changing the way laboratory equipment is designed, sold, and used.
Your Vendor Can Also Help Divert Your Waste (For Free!)
Did you know a number of scientific vendors have free take-back programs? Corning®, Falcon®, Costar®, and Axygen® products can all be mailed back for recycling just by printing a free shipping label. Click here to learn just how simple it is to take part in this opportunity.
Genesee Scientific has an extensive free recycling program for pipette tip racks, office materials, and cardboard and styrofoam shipping containers.
MilliporeSigma (formerly Sigma Aldrich) and New England Biolabs also have styrofoam shipping box recycling programs.
Do you know of another free recycling or take-back program? Let us know!
Join us this Earth Month in Reducing the Impact of Scientific Research
Support My Green Lab this Earth Month and your donation will double!
Help us make laboratories more sustainable - donate today! My Green Lab is a 501c3 non-profit organization and 100% of all donations to go directly to funding our programs and outreach activities. Once again we thank Labcon for their tremendous support in matching all donations until the end of April.
My Green Lab promotes green practices and environmentally-friendly, sustainable technology in research laboratories.