Incorporating sustainable practices into Harvard’s most energy and resource intensive spaces may seem like a daunting task, but for the laboratories on Harvard’s Cambridge and Longwood campus, green and labs are synonymous terms. For researchers, students, faculty, and staff at both campuses, sustainable lab practices just got even easier, thanks to the launch of the Harvard Labs Reuse List. Intended as a university-wide resource, the list encourages and enables trade, reuse, and sharing of working laboratory equipment and supplies.
I think this is a great idea! Each year, large amounts of supplies and equipment are unfortunately thrown away as their current labs no longer have a use for them. This program will provide an opportunity to find these items a new home. The savings to the new lab is also an added bonus.
In addition to the many strides lab-based green teams have made to conserve resources and reduce energy, including participation in programs like the Shut the Sash Fume Hood Competition, the Harvard Labs Reuse List is the latest university-wide resource designed to connect Harvard’s campuses and expand sustainable practices through collaboration.
Because of frequent personnel turnover, lab moves, and changing research needs, equipment is often left discarded and unused. The Harvard Labs Reuse List not only offers a way for these items to be salvaged, but promotes reuse, therefore reducing surplus equipment, supplies, and costs. “I think this is a great idea! Each year, large amounts of supplies and equipment are unfortunately thrown away as their current labs no longer have a use for them. This program will provide an opportunity to find these items a new home. The savings to the new lab is also an added bonus," said Zac DiPasquale of Harvard Medical School.
Alicia Murchie, Longwood Sustainability Program Manager, and Jamie Bemis, FAS Green Program Coordinator, spearheaded the effort, collaborating with groups such as Harvard’s Environmental Health and Safety Program and the FAS Division of Science. “The creation of this list is a direct result of popular demand. The Harvard research community wanted a place to trade and share lab equipment, but also recognized a gap where sustainable practice made sense,” said Bemis.