Green Labs Initiative

green labs logo

Laboratories are the largest consumer of utilities and resources on campus. They also generate a significant amount of waste, both hazardous and non-hazardous. The Office of Sustainability in collaboration with Environmental Health and Safety with support from the Vice Presidents for Research and University Operations have developed a voluntary program called Green Laboratories.

We use a team approach to create individual sustainability plans that meet the needs of each lab. The goal of the program is to reduce waste, power, and water usage at the university, while maintaining research integrity and helping labs save money.

The Green Labs Team proudly announces the launch of our Green Labs Wiki, a customized reference tool for all labs at UT-Austin.


Becoming a certified Green Lab is easy!

  1. Contact the Green Labs program to register (
  2. Designate a Green Labs Ambassador for your lab
  3. Complete the Green Labs Self-Evaluation: Green Labs Self-Evaluation [PDF*]
  4. A representative will contact you to set up a site evaluation
  5. We'll help create sustainability goals and provide strategies to achieve them.



Congratulations to our Certified Green Labs!

Principal Investigator Name

Lab Representative


Hirofumi Tanaka

Jeff Baker

College of Education

Matt Brothers

College of Education

Janet Ellzey

Trey Bush

School of Engineering

Jorge Prozzi

Ambarish Banerjee

School of Engineering

Nicolas Espinoza

Matt Ramos

School of Engineering

Stephen Marek

School of Engineering

Jay Banner

Staci Loewy

Jackson School of Geosciences

Peter Polito

Jackson School of Geosciences

Robert Josephs

Ellie Shuo Jin

College of Liberal Arts

Andreas Matouschek

Grace Kago

College of Natural Sciences

Arlen Johnson

College of Natural Sciences

Blerta Xhemalce

Marvin Mercado

College of Natural Sciences

Christine Hawkes

College of Natural Sciences

Deana Erdner

College of Natural Sciences

Shelly Payne

Liz Wyckoff

College of Natural Sciences

Tina Shay

College of Natural Sciences

Tracy Villareal

College of Natural Sciences

Josh Beckham John Giacona College of Natural Sciences
Shalene Jha Sarah Cusser College of Natural Sciences
Stan Roux Greg Clark College of Natural Sciences
Tanya Paull Lisa Sledd College of Natural Sciences

Stuart Reichler

Josh Lara

College of Natural Sciences

Dee Silverthorn Katherine Steele College of Natural Sciences

Martha Maas

Brian Lorenzo & Scott Rynbrandt

College of Natural Sciences

Hugh Smyth

Kristin Fathe

College of Pharmacy

Maria Croyle

Wendy Pippin

College of Pharmacy

Neeta Bhakta

Carmen Reyes

University Health Services



Green Lab Practices At-A-Glance

Chill-Up: One ultra-low freezer uses as much energy as the average household. Turn these up to -70C for most uses, or the maximum appropriate temperature for your samples. Good maintenance and sample organization practices will improve energy use and lab flow efficiency. UT Freezer Loaner Program

Green Chemistry: Micro scale experiments and use less hazardous chemicals. See MIT Green Chemistry Wizard

Power Down: Use timers to automatically turn off equipment when not in use. Turn off bio-cabinets and flow hoods when not in use. Use daylight or task lamps instead of overhead lighting when possible.

Reduce Waste: Check inventory before purchasing products; buy pipette tips in bags.

Re-Use: Share chemicals and equipment with other labs. Check University Surplus before purchasing new equipment.

Recycle: Special programs exist for Styrofoam and nitrile gloves (see below). Environmental Health & Safety accepts batteries and florescent light bulbs. Pipet boxes, paperboard and cardboard can go into the standard, blue-bin, single-stream recycling.

Purchasing Power: Buy energy and water-efficient equipment. See Labs 21 Equipment Wiki.

Consider room-temperature DNA storage.

Be an Eco-Leader: Talk to other researchers about sustainable best practices. Tell someone else about the Green Labs Initiative. And get certified!


Styrofoam & Cold Pack Recycling Program

2015 - 2016 Collection Dates

October 5 and 19

November 2 and 16

December 7 and 21

January 11 (2016)

February 1 and 15

March 7 and 21

April 4 and 18

May 2 and 16

June 6 and 20

July 11

August 1 and 15

  • Join the mailing list (via the contact email below) to receive the times of collection each semester. Styrofoam brought to the dock after the collection time may be sent to landfill.
  • Please bring the appropriate materials to the Welch Hall loading dock to be picked up by Austin Business Recycling.
  • Cold Packs must be completely defrosted and dry.
  • REMOVE ALL TAPE AND LABELS from Styrofoam; they will damage the syrofoam shredding machine.
  • No food cartons or packing peanuts. Packing peanuts may be taken to any PakMail or Mailboxes, Etc. for reuse.
  • Clear plastic bags will be provided in your mail room (Front Desk @MBB) or during pick-up. Please email if your mail room is out.

For further information or questions email

Nitrile Glove Recycling Pilot Program

Collection is ongoing through a special labeled box in your lab. Only Kimberly-Clark gloves are eligible (instructions provided when you join the program). The gloves are recycled into other durable plastic products, usually lawn chairs, benches, and promotional items like Frisbees.

Only non-hazardous contamination/uses are permitted for recycled gloves.

Contact when the box is full, or take the box to the Fisher equipment receiving room in WEL.

Mercury Thermometer Exchange

Still using mercury thermometers? Contact Environmental Health & Safety to replace them with alcohol thermometers for FREE!



Resources & Best Practices

Contact Us

Contact us at or 512-232-4999 with questions or for more information.

[*PDFs require the free Adobe® Reader® or compatible software]