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!

Lab Principal Investigator Lab Representative  College/School
Hirofumi Tanaka Wesley Geary Education
Matt Brothers Education
Janet Ellzey Trey Bush  Engineering
Jorge Prozzi Ambarish Banerjee Engineering
Stephen Marek 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!


Styrofoam & Cold Pack Recycling Program

2016 - 2017 Collection Dates

February 6 & February 20

March 6 & 20

April 3 &17

May 1 & 5

June 5 & 19

  • 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 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.

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!



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]