By Greening LMS
Lab work is a highly energy consuming process. The equipment we use are particularly energy intensive and with the culture of long working hours these are often left on for many hours of the day. But things can be done to reduce our energy expenditure, a few tips to reduce usage are outlined below:
- PCR machines are not fridges!
At 4oC PCR machines use as much electricity as a typical -20 oC freezer
- Once your cycle is finished keep your PCR running at 12oC rather than 4oC
- Don’t leave your PCR running overnight/ over the weekend. Ask a friend to put it in the fridge if you are in a hurry.
- Fill your freezers with ice packs if the drawer is not full – a full freezer requires less energy to keep cool
- Improve fume hood efficiency
A chemical fume hood can use as much energy as 3.5 households a day
- Closing the sash on the fume hood can save energy by up to 40%
- Check out mygreenlab for more information on fume hood energy consumption.
- Turn off equipment when not in use
Cooled or heated equipment is some of the most energy intensive tools we use in the lab, for example a heat block can use as much energy as a 50” TV per hour
- Switch off PCR machines/ centrifuges/ heat blocks/ electrophoresis tanks when you are done
- Use plug timers for communal equipment such as water baths so they are not running overnight
- Don’t assume communal equipment is in use– check booking calendars/ stickers and switch off if no one is booked in.
- Turn off Office equipment at the end of the day such as any extra monitors, Bluetooth mouse/keyboards and work computers (or put them in sleep mode)
- Be smart about water usage
Milli-Q machines use a huge amount of energy, and water, to remove dissolved gasses
- Determine whether it is necessary for your experiment to use Milli-Q water, or if you could use deionised or autoclaved water instead
- Switch off the lights
There is a common misconception that switching lights on and off frequently uses more energy than just leaving them on. In fact, you would have to turn your light on and off every 5 seconds for this to be true!
- Switch off the lights if you are leaving a room for more than a few minutes
- Check that the lights in communal rooms are off at the end of each day
- Remind your lab mates!
- Turn off your camera
Since the pandemic we have all had to become adept at video calling – however, this is an energy intensive process
- Turning off your webcam for a Zoom call reduces energy usage by 90%
Greening LMS News
- Introducing the LMS’s first Sustainability Officer
- LMS secures funding to support sustainability projects
- 4 ways that we are making our labs more sustainable
Resources by Greening LMS
- MRC LMS Top Tips to Reduce Lab Waste
- Greening LMS – Past and Current Projects
- Contact our Sustainability Officer, Nicola Rodricks.
Resources from other Institutes