Let's make an effort to be green this holiday season. We all have little things we do in the lab that save a little time or a little money, or do a little bit to help the planet. Save time and money for the holidays -- photo courtesy of www.globalsciencemeetings.com. Post your science events for free on this site and be green!
Let's share what we know about green research so we can all save time, money and the planet. We will start the sharing process by revealing 10 tips for greener chemistry. These are not earth-shattering innovations but small steps toward becoming greener. We'd also love to hear suggestions on greener products and will ask our participating lab suppliers to consider your requests:
1) Recycle & reuse everything you can.
2) Designate specific times to take calls, sign for deliveries and open the doors, which saves gloves. In addition, put someone in charge of the lab phone for these dedicated times so you don't have to replace your gloves every time the phone rings.
3) Batch work: This saves time, money, gloves and cleaning.
4) Request sample packs from suppliers before placing big orders. You can see if you like the product before being stuck with large quantities of something you cannot use.
4) Save energy by turning lights off when no one is in the lab during times such as lunch, meetings and after hours.
6) Think small: Use smaller containers and sample sizes when possible.
7) Use technology: Save time and paper by using electronic notebooks, computers and PDAs.
8) Spread knowledge: Are you an expert on a laboratory procedure? Train others and reduce procedural errors by making training videos to post on YouTube. These videos can save you time, effort and money, and perhaps even make you a YouTube celebrity.
Be as technical, formal, informal or basic as you like -- it all helps!
9) Give old lab equipment a new life: Instead of throwing away old lab equipment or letting it sit in a dusty corner, try to find someone else who might be able to use it. Your old equipment might find a second life in your department, university or even a lab in a third world country.
10) Store laboratory items properly when using a refrigerator, freezer or chem locker. If everything has its designated place, you can quickly put items away after use. This saves them from spoiling when the door is kept open too long. Moreover, by giving everything its place, lab workers are less frustrated because they can easily find their stored items. This is a great lab practice and globally saves tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in waste.
Be a green science hero by saving time, being clean, being organized, bundling projects, saving energy and using technology to save our planet. Join us as green science heroes by taking these ideas and sharing them with your lab partners. Are you a green science hero? Share your ideas below to help everyone become one.