Scientific labs can become large centers for waste if not managed sustainably. Energy, water, and reusable plastics create the most waste. The idea of change and a potential increase in costs can deter lab managers from making the switch to go green. However, in the long run, it will save money while it saves the environment. Through recycling, lowered energy bills, and reusing anything possible, managers will discover the changes are well worth it. Make the switch to sustainability with these tips to make your lab more eco-friendly.
Stay Diligent About Inventory
Mistakes with inventory can lead to waste. You might order too much of an item and eventually throw some out. Utilize spreadsheets or software to get organized. Employees who do not refill inventory the right way can also waste products. Old items should be within reach and new items should be behind them. Make sure guidelines about refilling inventory are clear to everyone.
Waste Less Energy and Water
There are many energy-saving tips to make your lab more eco-friendly. Consider overhead lights with motion sensors, get timers for plug sockets and water baths, turn off computers at night, and close the fume hood. For water waste, you must simply stay mindful. If there’s no reason for water to run constantly. Make sure you turn off taps completely to avoid leaks. If you change your water baths often, you should consider less wasteful alternatives like bead baths.
Dispose of Waste Correctly
You must dispose of waste correctly. If not, it can become dangerous for humans and the ecosystem through pollution and contamination. Your lab should aim to recycle and reuse whenever possible. For instance, if your state allows recycling for calibration gas cylinder disposal, then use that option. If not, consider shipping cylinders back to the manufacturer. You can reduce waste by opting for glass over plastic, too. That’s because some plastic capsules in the lab can’t be recycled. Start purchasing glass ones, which you can safely wash and reuse.
Support Sustainable Suppliers
There are specific green suppliers that your lab can support. Do your research and find suppliers who focus on aspects like a reduced carbon footprint, low water waste, energy efficiency, and responsible disposal.