Be innovative. Spark change.
Below you’ll find best practices and strategies to help you promote conservation and environmental stewardship within your research lab.
- Turn off lights, equipment, and appliances when you leave the lab. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a "lights off" reminder decal for your lab.
- Plug equipment into a power strip and switch off when not in use.
- Activate power management settings on computers, monitors, and printers.
- where possible, use tasking lighting to focus light only where you need it.
- Use energy efficient bulbs in task lighting (like compact fluorescent or LED).
- If purchasing new equipment, choose energy efficient features, such as timers on autoclave heaters or ovens.
- Take advantage of natural light by adjusting blinds throughout the day.
- Always close lab fume hood sashes when not in use and save up to 50,000 lbs of CO2 per year.
- Check labs for updated lighting fixtures (T8 or T5 electronic ballasts for linear fluorescent lighting and LED-lit exit signs), and if needed, submit a work order.
- Energize yourself by taking the stairs when feasible.
- Use shut-off valves or timers on autoclaves and sterilizers to turn off when not in use.
- If purchasing new equipment, choose water efficient features designed to recirculate water or allow flow to be turned off when not in use.
- Adjust flow rates to minimum ones recommended by manufacturer.
- Run dishwashers only when full and use environmentally-responsible cleaning detergents.
- Minimize the amount of volatile chemicals in your lab. Order and store only what you need in the immediate future.
- Reuse disposable plastics and glass items whenever possible. Take advantage of hand washing, solvent rinsing, or autoclaving to clean and reuse plastic and glassware.
- Set your printer to duplex mode and reuse second chance paper.
- Recycle old freezers and replace with more efficient ENERGY STAR® appliances. Aim to purchase an appliance at least 20% more efficient.
- Use the blue bins in the hall to recycle your paper, bottles and cans. Click here to learn more about recycling at PSU.
- Recycle or properly dispose of your chemicals, solvents, x-rays, batteries, light tubes, pyrex, or lab glass. Click here to submit a work order for Hazardous Chem/Bio Waste Pickup.
- Donate unused materials to your department shop, so others don’t have to buy new materials as often.