Environment,  Green Technology

Best Practices for Making Your Lab Eco-Friendly

Making Lab Eco Friendly
Making lab eco-friendly. Image credit: Adobe Stock.

Do you want your lab to have a greener perspective toward waste, energy use, and sustainability? Below, we discuss some best practices that any lab can adopt to become more eco-friendly.

Purchase Used Lab Equipment

A sustainability-focused perspective is about using the resources we have as much as possible instead of wasting energy and materials on creating new things. Labs can follow this principle by choosing used equipment rather than buying new machines. One of the reasons to invest in used lab equipment is to ensure the use of existing instruments instead of wasting resources and energy on new machines.

Often, when labs order brand-new OEM equipment, it’s made to order. Every new order entails more materials and energy spent crafting new machines instead of putting perfectly good instruments that are a little older to use. Plus, used lab equipment is much cheaper, so it’s a win-win!

Buy From Sustainable Vendors

Another way that labs can put their money where their mouth is regarding sustainability is to be more selective with who they purchase supplies from. Some vendors are much more eco-friendly than others, putting more thought and effort into using sustainable packaging materials and best practices for reducing carbon emissions.

Supply chains significantly contribute to carbon emissions, with trucks crisscrossing the country to deliver goods and supplies. Consider researching your vendors and their stances on eco-friendly supply chains, and you may find a supplier more suited to your lab’s green principles.

Audit Ordering Practices

Another best practice for labs to become more eco-friendly is to audit ordering practices. We all know that labs need a steady stream of supplies monthly or even weekly, but too often, these supplies become unnecessary waste.

Look for areas in the budget and ordering where you can cut a surplus, or consider changing your ordering schedule to combine orders and cut down on trips.

Reduce Energy Consumption

Energy consumption is a primary concern for anyone who wants to be more eco-friendly. In fact, mindful energy consumption is becoming a bigger aspect of construction in buildings and residences. Many labs consume a ton of energy with the many machines and appliances constantly working.

But even in scientific labs, reduced energy consumption is possible in many areas. The simple trick of switching off lights and appliances when not in use can make a significant difference, as can altering equipment settings to use less energy. Even something as simple as powering down computers at night or when not in active use can save energy and money in electrical costs for labs.

Jade Marie Tomaszewski BSc, MD, MSc. Based in Montreal, Quebec. Anatomical Pathology resident. Jumps to higher energy states when she writes. Believes that her mission in life is to help people see (literally and figuratively). You can follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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