Earth Day Can Be Every Day in the Lab

Photo of the Earth from space

On Earth Day, we renew our efforts to conserve energy, conserve water, reduce, reuse, and recycle. At home, it’s often easy enough with curbside pickup of recycling bins and Energy Star appliances available in many stores. But what about in the lab?

Sometimes processes can be improved, like consolidating loads in the autoclave, turning off equipment when not in use, and dialing super cold freezers up from -80 to -70 degrees Fahrenheit. Maybe your lab already takes those steps. What else can you do?

Photo of the Earth from spaceMy Green Lab, an educational nonprofit, suggests replacing old equipment. It’s easy to grumble about the budget and wave off the significant expense of new equipment. But have you looked at what the old equipment costs you in maintenance and operation? Purchasing new will often save you in the long run. You can get machines that are the right size for your tasks and are built with energy and water conservation in mind. It’s a win for your lab, your department’s budget, the Earth, and all her inhabitants.

[Photo credit: NASA, CC BY 2.0]

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