Allen Aloise, Acting Director of Laboratories for the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and former co-chair of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Greenhouse Gas (GHG) program in the lab sector, has worked to make the labs at FAS safer and more sustainable. As Science Safety Officer, Allen knows that the hundreds of fume hoods currently operating in FAS labs play a crucial role in maintaining the safety of lab occupants. He also knows that an incredible amount of energy is wasted when the sashes of those hoods are left open when they are not in use.
Allen’s concern about sustainability issues has grown over time. He believes that most people are aware but may struggle to make the leap to becoming proactive about sustainability. Allen turns off lights at home and has also invested in compact fluorescent light bulbs and a digital thermostat in an effort to conserve energy. Energy saving measures at FAS laboratories may not be as easy to implement but there are opportunities for significant improvement. Allen has been involved with the “Shut the Sash” campaign that educates researchers about ways to reduce energy use in their labs. He is also an advocate for the installation of VAV (Variable Air Volume) fume hoods that automatically regulate air flow in ways that maintain the safety of researchers while also saving energy.
“Obstacles are often opportunities. By working with the OFS we have been able to develop sustainability efforts that balance environmental concerns with the logistical realities of the lab environment.”