Green Labs Initiative
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.
The Green Labs program is intended to provide researchers with resources and tools to implement sustainable practices and reduce utility use. The goal of the program is to save researchers and the university money while preserving resources and reducing the impact on the environment.
Becoming a certified Green Lab is easy!
- Contact the Green Labs program to register (GreenLabs@austin.utexas.edu)
- Designate a Green Labs Ambassador for your lab
- Complete the Green Labs Self-Evaluation: Green Labs Application [PDF*]
- A representative will contact you to set up a site evaluation
Styrofoam Recycling Pilot Program
The Green Fee Committee awarded funds for a pilot program to recycle Styrofoam boxes and large packing materials instead of sending them to the land fill.
2013 Collection Dates (the first Monday of every month):
|April 1||May 6||June 3|
|July 1||August 5||Sept 9|
|Oct 7||Nov 4||Dec 2|
- Please bring the appropriate materials to the Welch Hall loading dock to be taken to HDi for recycling.
- REMOVE ALL TAPE AND LABELS, 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
For further information or questions email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tips from Researchers and Peers
- Put equipment timers to turn off unused equipment at night.
- Turn up your freezer to the highest temperature that is appropriate for storage. Each 10 degrees higher on a -70 freezer saves up to $100 annually in electricity.
- Put your equipment into hibernation mode or use a timer for your heating baths when not in use.
Submit your tips to GreenLabs@austin.utexas.edu
- Extending the life of your lab freezers presentation [PDF*] from Research Safety Day 2011
- Mercury thermometer exchange program
- Use surplus equipment
- Green Labs Initiative Report [PDF*]
- Green Labs Article in The Scientist
- Green Labs Presentation at the UT Sustainability Conference [PDF*]
- UT Low Flow Fume Hood Study [PDF*]
- University of Michigan Biosafety Cabinet Electricity Consumption Study [PDF*]
- MIT Green Chemistry Tool to assist researchers to find less hazardous chemicals for their research
- Energy Efficient Lab Equipment Wiki
- Preserving DNA without refrigeration [PDF*]
- Labs 21
- UCSB LabRATS program
- Stanford University Energy and Water Conservation program
- EPA Green Chemistry
Contact us at GreenLabs@austin.utexas.edu or 512-232-4999 with questions or for more information.
[*PDFs require the free Adobe® Reader® or compatible software]