Labs are the most energy intensive spaces on the Harvard campus, so resource conservation and energy efficiency in the labs are of significant importance in meeting the University's goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Across Harvard, Schools and departments are building greener, more efficient lab space. And by making educated purchasing choices and following best practices for resource conservation, the energy impact of lab spaces can be further reduced.
Top Ten Sustainable Lab Actions
1. Shut the Sash! Open fume hoods are one of the most significant energy consumers in a lab. Check out the Shut the Sash Program at FAS to learn more about fume hood energy conservation.
2. Mind your -80. These units are energy hogs but there are things you can do to minimize their impact. Check out our page of Freezer Best Practices to learn more!
3. Buy energy efficient equipment. Ask vendors for energy consumption information, and look for Energy Star appliances where possible.
4. Use less hazardous chemicals. The MIT Green Chemical Alternative Wizard is a great resource for finding non-hazardous alternatives to common chemicals.
5. Talk to vendors to advocate for less packaging and more sustainable options.
6. Recycle! Common items are pipette tip boxes, empty solution bottles, and some chemicals.
7. Swap your unwanted equipment and supplies on the Labs Reuse List!
8. Power down. Talk with your lab about turning off lights and equipment where applicable.
9. Check out our comprehensive Best Practices Guide for Lab Sustainability.
10. Start the conversation: tell us your ideas and spread the word. Contact Jamie Bemis for lab-related questions on the Cambridge campus, and Alicia Murchie for the Longwood campus.