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.
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!
- Contact the Green Labs program to register (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Designate a Green Labs Ambassador for your lab
- Complete the Green Labs Self-Evaluation: Green Labs Self-Evaluation [PDF*]
- A representative will contact you to set up a site evaluation
- We'll help create sustainability goals and provide strategies to achieve them.
Congratulations to our Certified Green Labs!
|Lab Principal Investigator||Lab Representative||College/School|
|Hirofumi Tanaka||Wesley Geary||Education|
|Janet Ellzey||Trey Bush||Engineering|
|Jorge Prozzi||Ambarish Banerjee||Engineering|
|Nicolas Espinoza||Matt Ramos||Engineering|
|Jay Banner||Staci Loewy||Geosciences|
|Peter Flemings||Peter Polito||Geosciences|
|Anthony Di Fiore||Krista Milich||Liberal Arts|
|Robert Josephs||Ellie Shuo Jin||Liberal Arts|
|Blerta Xhemalce||Marvin Mercado||Natural Science|
|Andreas Matouschek||Sarkalem Tadesse||Natural Sciences|
|Annie Hollingshead||Tina Shay||Natural Sciences|
|Deana Erdner||Natural Sciences|
|Shelley Payne||Liz Wyckoff||Natural Sciences|
|Tanya Paull||Nicolette Ender||Natural Sciences|
|Thomas Juenger||Heather Yang||Natural Sciences|
|Tracy Villareal||Natural Sciences|
|Christine Hawkes||Christine Hawkes||Natural Sciences|
|Dee Silverthorn||Katherine Steele||Natural Sciences|
|Hans Hofmann||Sean Maguire||Natural Sciences|
|Jenny Jiang||Mary Salazar||Natural Sciences|
|Josh Beckham||John M. Giacona||Natural Sciences|
|Kyle Miller||Anushri Kushwaha||Natural Sciences|
|Martha Maas (BIO 206L)||Scott Rynbrandt Brian Lorenzo||Natural Sciences|
|Michela Marinelli & Bob Messing||Amanda Fitzgerald||Natural Sciences|
|Shalene Jha||Shalene Jha||Natural Sciences|
|Stan Roux||Greg Clark||Natural Sciences|
|Steve Phelps||Alejandro Berrio||Natural Sciences|
|Stuart Reichler||Josh Lara||Natural Sciences|
|Tony Gonzalez||Lara Samarneh||Natural Sciences|
|Hugh Smyth||Kristin Fathe||Pharmacy|
|Maria Croyle||Irnela Bajrovic||Pharmacy|
|Neeta Bhakta||Neeta Bhakta||University Health Services|
Green Lab Practices At-A-Glance
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!
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
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 or MBB 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
For further information or questions email email@example.com.
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.
When your collection box is full, please take only the full liner (please re-use your collection box) to the WEL Fischer Storeroom (1.202). New liners are available in the storeroom; the storeroom managers can assist you with locating them.
Mercury Thermometer Exchange
Still using mercury thermometers? Contact Environmental Health & Safety to replace them with alcohol thermometers for FREE!
- 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*]
Resources & Best Practices
- MIT Green Chemistry Tool to assist researchers to find less hazardous chemicals for their research
- Energy Efficient Lab Equipment Wiki
- Harvard Green Labs Best Practices
- Preserving DNA without refrigeration [PDF*]
- Labs 21
- UCSB LabRATS program
- Stanford University Energy and Water Conservation program
- EPA Green Chemistry
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-232-4999 with questions or for more information.
[*PDFs require the free Adobe® Reader® or compatible software]