Careful use of your research tools and equipment can minimize your environmental footprint and save you money. Make your lab a little greener today by following these simple tips.
The annual energy use of life science research labs is estimated to be around three to four times that of a typical commercial building. While life science research has the potential to improve the lives of billions through the discovery of new tools, technologies and treatments, it’s also resource intensive. So while it may seem counter-intuitive, scientific progress also comes at a cost to society and the environment. How can we work to maximize the benefit while minimizing the environmental impact?
The truth is, much of this energy consumption can’t be avoided – it is the cost of doing good science. However, there are many opportunities to improve your lab practices and make your work ‘greener,’ without taking up valuable time or over-stretching your research funding.
In fact, making your lab more eco-friendly can actually save you money in the long run. For example, closing or switching off fume hoods when not in use can save up to £2,000 per year per hood. The reduction in background noise levels can also help to encourage conversation between you and your colleagues (although we realize that there could be both pros and cons to this!).
Purified water is the ever-present reagent used by most experiments in the lab. By optimizing how you use and store it, you can make nearly every study you carry out more environmentally friendly. Consider the following:
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