Sustainability | Green Lab | Sustainable Science & Research | Environmentally Friendly | Less Plastic Waste more Nature | Tips and Tricks | Online Conference | Motivation, Fun and Ease
We support you to make research sustainable
Protocols, strategies and ideas for institutes, laboratories and individual researchers
We educate in events, craft solutions and help you personally
We educate on how to make research more sustainable
We provide solutions for research institutions and laboratories!
You can think about us as the initiator and helping hand on the way to make your research sustainble.
–> Specific protocols & strategies <–
–> Sustainable solutions and products <–
–> Advice for systematic change and rethinking <–
1) Educating from A-Z
We inform about the entire value-chain from the production of your materials, their use to their recycling!
Understand what sustainbility means and where it can be applied.
2) Concrete, applicable and safe
Our pragmatic and doable solutions for research in any field. Our approaches are tested and come from researchers that know the laboratory environment!
3) Sharing contacts and connect all actors
We want to create a network that provids solutions to everybody. Fostering collaboratoin among companies, initiatives and researchers. If you have a question or need help, join our family to always have someone there for you.
Get direct support from us with tailored solutions for your challenges!
Collaborate with us online via direct meetings, mail or on our platforms
Whether you are a reasearcher, employee or leader of an association, the world of sustainability awaits you.
Where can I learn more?
Soon we will publish our sustainability guide online!
If you want to see it too – add yourself to the update group
GreenLaboratoryWorks next event – bringing together (almost) everyting sustainability can offer you!
A) Learn to become sustainable in your very own research
B) See how the field is movin’ & groovin’
C) Connect to the industrie and peers that share the passion
– Your choice –
How We Help You Succeed
With GLW2022 we have achieved what others thought was impossible. Just because we followed our drive!
We do not think that we are an exception – you can do it too
What is the biggest barrier for people when they want to become sustainable scientists?
Their thinking / mindset / attitude
Since there are enough protocols and ideas we choose a unique approach:
– We address what everybdoy has all the time –
Feelings – Thoughts – Doubts
We address how to win the fight that takes place between the ears.
Making the Difference
Too many researchers are burned out by their work. Let us show you how sustainable approaches can help with new inspiration & passion.
What makes it special?
We combine knowledge from Neurscience, Psychology and own Experience for concrete approaches.
Get beyond lip-service! No feeling of powerlessnes anymore.
Making the Difference
We set out to acutally make an impact, therefore, we not only provide information, we actually make it happen together with you.
What makes it special?
We make sure to deliver content that you can acually apply. Not just ideas but concrete steps.
Up to 80% less waste in an experiment? Sounds good, does it not?
Making the Difference
Measuring your results will help you to see your impact and nothing is more motivating. Also, it assures you are on the right path – no guessing.
What makes it special?
We provide you a specific framework to get started. Few people actually collect data – you can make the difference.
Hi there! It’s great to see you joining many other researchers worldwide who want to contribute to greener sciences. We’re addressing a serious issue here:
- In 2014, around 5 million tonnes of plastic were wasted in the United States. A single -80 freezer uses as much energy as a whole four-person family home. 97% of waste from RT-PCR Covid tests are incinerated, and the rest goes to landfills instead of recycling! (Until August 2020, these tests produced around 15,439.59 tons of plastic residue worldwide)
- Although these numbers are estimates, they show the significant impact of our research on the environment. In other words, it’s not just our research efforts that we sacrifice, but also a part of our natural world. However, we all love our experiments in chemistry, biology, pharmacy, biochemistry, molecular medicine, and other sciences. We want to show you how to take steps towards combining our passions in a sustainable way – how to handle waste, energy, chemicals, or equipment.
Don’t worry, we’re here for you. See how many people are already working sustainably, how large our network is, and how many movements are being created worldwide! A whole lot of passionate researchers all over the world share our passion and are already sharing their ideas and work. In fact, wherever you look, you will find initiatives, consultants, firms, or students doing amazing work!
You may have heard of the 3R, but we prefer the 6Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rethink, Reject, Repair. We are strong advocates of reduce and rethink and will provide more information on how to put these into action in the “Getting Precise” section.
If you haven’t heard of these before, here’s a little perspective. All of them are great, but we want to make a few points. First, reduce where you can! We will further address how reducing can improve your experiments and give your research strategy another boost in the “Even Further” section. By reusing, you not only save resources but also save money, which can be a nice argument for less convinced researchers. Reducing also makes the largest impact on numbers and is easily noticed by producers, showing them that you care about sustainability and incentivizing them to do the same.
While reusing is a great idea, two aspects can become an issue. If you use glass instead of plastic, you may have to autoclave it. Additionally, people are often afraid of reusing, although it is rarely a problem. The challenge is that some solvents or chemicals may remain in tubes and contaminate them, which is also one of the biggest problems for recycling, as we need clean materials to achieve high efficiency.
Recycling means we can use the material again, but often we are actually downcycling. From a materials science standpoint, our plastics have some limitations too. By the way, without getting into a lecture about polymers (although we can discuss different techniques to dissolve them more efficiently during socializing if you’re interested), we are referring to chain lengths.
Rejecting is one of our strongest expressions, and we encourage you to do so because it will show your colleagues that you really care about sustainability. Although it is useful, unfortunately, it can be difficult to do and might scare some people. A little tip: reject indirectly by asking others for an alternative. If they have one, that’s great! If not, they might reject with you.
Rethinking is the most difficult but also the most fun! Have you ever felt the excitement of having invented a completely new approach to your scientific inquiry? It can be more sustainable, faster, and easier to do, and it’s all in your hands. Rethinking can be applied everywhere, from chemicals to energy. At first, it may seem a bit scary, but trust yourself. You will come up with a solution once you have a closer look how to restructure your experiment. Concretely, have little search which organic solvents are better to use or do you really have to split your cell lines one after another? You can do it in parallel not just being faster but using the same pipettes for the same solutions.
Summing it up, the greatest impacts and the most fun are definitely reduce and rethink! Make the first step and you will not stop because you feel the excitement. Reducing avoids many of the limitations of re- or down-cycling and especially helps you in the scarcity of COVID times. Rethinking gives you the opportunity to improve anywhere, anywhen you want and in which way you want.
You already want to know a bit more? Ok, alright, we like that, so here you go:
1) Grab for the low hanging fruit at first: set your freezer from -80 to -70 that will save about 20% of its energy consumption. Do not be afraid, the fear that your samples will degrade right away is totally exaggerated. A couple years ago -70 was pretty common anyway.
2) Turn machines off when you do not need them. If you know, you need the water bath today, why not turning it on in the morning – or at least keeping it off during the weekend. Also, think about your computer and its screen – sleep mode is also an improvement!
3) Needless to say, use smaller tubes and pipette tips of possible. If you have to refill your pipette once again or pipette two times more do not worry, nature says warm thanks. Saving time is also possible: if you do the same steps multiple times (like DNA preps or washing) you have the amazing luxury to have multiple pipetts, do not change the tips but keep them on and change the pipette (“Change the pipette not the tip”).
4) More about waste: have a little thought how you can safe some waste. For example, when you have a multiple samples, add the solution which you need in most of them first. Also, if you are going to use your sample or chemical up, use the same pipette tip you used before – contamination does not matter when you throw the empty tube away or the two chemicals you use end up in the same sample anyway. In the same way maybe you can save tubes by combining two mixtures during preparation before splitting them when adding your sample. You already realize, there is no law-like text you can follow. Rather, it is on you just pondering a bit what you can do.
5) Indeed, if you want to extend your impact, we can even go further. As an example, let us consider SDS-PAGEs. Some people may contradict this approach but to our experiences it does not cause issues but can safe a whole lot of plastics. If you use your chemicals only for SDS-PAGEs then: use the first serological pipette and pipette at first water in your 50 mL tube. Then, you use the same pipette to add the Tris buffer. Then, believe it or not, you use the same pipette and add the SDS. Still, for TEMED and APS use different tips! Realize that you have saved about 2/3 of waste so far. Then, when you have poured your gel, and some liquid gel is left over, pour it in an old box or styro-holder for tubes to let it dry (since it is toxic please do not pour it away). Then, you can use the same 50 mL tube again the next time you make a gel.
For the “maniacs” amongst you, if you prepare resolving and stacking gel the same time, you can first pipette lower % Tris and then keep the same pipette for the higher % Tris. That will save you 5/6 of plastic waste!
We hope you got an impression of what is possible and that open eyes are you best friend! For anything else, our presenters and their initiatives have even more to offer. Also, feel free to contact us whatever fits you best.
At first, it all sounds pretty overwhelming, but every challenge offers a great chance to grow. Our goal is not just to make your research greener but also to provide you with some additional skills – experimental design. Improving not just your ecological footstep but also making your data nicer, cleaner and stronger. We mentioned it already, giving your experiments another thought can be very helpful to see where you can reduce waste but can also help you to improve your research strategy as well. Once you are consciously considering your experiments and adapting them yourself, you
- become more confident in scientific conduct
- discover all the aspects to be considered when planning a new experiment
- and work more precise – a bit meditative even.
You see the same aspects all over because it is all connected: better planning can result in better reproducibility because we optimize our design, therefore, we can e.g. use less animals in our approach, and also use less plastics and energy, plus we safe time. See the opportunity to reduce & rethink and thereby become a conscious researcher discovering your experiments from a new angle. Recognizing the caveats of your experiments will help you to see how much you can optimize everywhere (connecting sustainability and scientific improvement). For example, you can contribute to the larger picture when your paper is addressing questions thoroughly and thereby potentially reducing the number of further publications in other words, your competitors.
Every action we take makes an impact! Every single step we do is progressing towards more sustainable science. We are the first to advance and make our research greener and we will do that together. There are many things you have already learnt, but take it cool – one step after another. Start little and then get the momentum to go on. Finally, we are all here to help you with whatever question you have or to share your story.