The Green Labs Program is a resource to help lab users reduce energy, water, and waste in research and teaching labs on campus. Sustainable research means more efficient research, improving the impact of each research dollar spent on campus. The Office of Sustainability encourages all lab users to follow the tips below to reduce environmental impacts and help the University of Maryland achieve its sustainability goals, including its Climate Action Plan goals.
Energy Reduction Strategies.
- If your lab has Fume Hoods, keep the sashes closed as much as possible! Fume Hoods can each use as much energy and cause as much greenhouse gas emissions as three American houses! Here is a video that explains this.
- Keep Ultra Low-Temp Freezers maintained. Cleaning the filter, keeping an inventory list, and making sure the unit seals well will go a long way in reducing energy consumption. Check this guide for more information.
- "-70 is the new -80" Raise the temperature of your Ultra-Low 10 degrees to save enough energy to power an entire apartment while increasing the lifespan of your freezer. Check out UC Boulder's research.
- Turn off and unplug equipment that isn't frequently used, or won't be used for an extended period.
- Have a "Holiday Shutdown Plan" for long periods of time when the lab won't be used so it's easy to know what equipment can and cannot be unplugged.
- Do you have energy-intensive equipment that doesn't need to run at night? Consider installing outlet timers to control equipment on/off times. Contact GreenLabs@umd.edu for assistance.
Waste Reduction Strategies.
- Batteries can be recycled in special bins on campus. Check out this list to find a location near your lab.
- Styrofoam is not currently recycled at UMD, but many vendors have take-back programs. Please ask you vendor if they take-back Styrofoam or other packaging.
- Most non-contaminated paper and plastic in labs can be recycled, including pipette tip boxes.
- If you have any questions about recycling, contact Recycle@umd.edu for assistance.
Water Reduction Strategies.
- If you lab has a single-pass water cooling system, then please contact GreenLabs@umd.edu to learn how we can help upgrade your system.
- Switch your vacuum aspirator pumps to vacuum pumps.
- Consolidate autoclave loads.
- Only use distilled and RO water in the appropriate settings. RO water membranes expel 4 gallons of potable water for every 1 gallon of RO water produced.
- Report water leaks immediately! Call 301-405-2222 or you can report online.