Sustainability Initiatives

Green Labs Checking List

  1. Did you know that reducing electricity consumption reduces greenhouse gas emissions that trap heat in the atmosphere and are main contributors to global warming?
  2. Did you know that laboratory spaces consume 10 times more electricity than office buildings and are important contributors to the 470.000 tons of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide released by Rutgers every year?
  3. Do you agree with the urgency of raising awareness about sustainability in the research labs and are you willing to take action to operate a more sustainable lab?

If you answered YES to question No.3, then the following questions can help you operate a green lab benefiting the environment and in the long run save money for your research.

  • Do you turn off electric equipment and computers when not in use?
  • Do you turn off and close biosafety cabinets when not in use?
  • Do you turn off the lights in your lab and in common rooms on your floor when no one is in the room?
  • Refrigerators and freezers consume large amounts of energy. Did you know that an Ultra-low temperature freezer (-80oC) consume as much energy as 3 houses per day?
  • Good cold storage practices can significantly reduce energy consumption. Do you keep the door and gaskets in your freezer free of ice?
  • Do you have a good inventory of the content of your freezer? This minimizes the time the freezer is open, which increases the temperature.
  • Are you maximizing the space in your freezer by removing unwanted samples, reducing the volume of stored samples and using high-capacity boxes?
  • Do you fill empty spaces in your freezer with ice packs of Styrofoam boxes/lids? A freezer half-full consumes more energy than one at full capacity.
  • Did you know that switching the temperature in your freezer from -80oC to -70oC saves 30% of energy and does not affect your samples? In fact, 20 years ago, all freezers were kept at -65 oC or -70 oC. Today many research institutions are making the switch. For more information visit
  • Did you know that research laboratories are responsible for 2 % of global plastic waste?
  • Can your lab replace non-essential single use plastic with reusable materials for at least some of your experiments (i.e., plastic pipettes and tubes for sterilized glass in BSL1 spaces?)
  • Are you familiar with Rheaply the Rutgers resource exchange platform where you can sell, buy or donate laboratory equipment, laboratory supplies, electronics, tools, office supplies new or gently used? You can access the platform at with your net ID.