As a lab that takes sustainability seriously, it is important to integrate sustainable practices into purchasing and planning strategy. Use these helpful tips when thinking about purchasing for your lab.

1. Pipette tips

Use stackable tip boxes, or better yet refill your old boxes by purchasing your tips in bags. It makes a great pastime during lab meetings.

2. Tubes

Buy your conical tubes from recycled plastic. Get them in bags and refill the racks yourself.

3. Autoclavable glassware

Instead of disposable plastic products, buy autoclavable glassware whenever possible.

4. De-Icing kits

Ask for a free freezer de-icing kit. Use a mallet and scraper to clear ice from the gaskets on the door of your ultra-low temperature freezer so it can run more efficiently. Email FAS or Longwood for one!

5. Alternative chemicals

Instead of using a chemical like Ethidium Bromide, find a safer, more environmentally-friendly alternative. Try the MIT Green Chemical Alternatives Wizard

6. Order your oligos dry

It’s more stable and saves on shipping weight and materials, just make sure to centrifuge your oligos before opening them.

7. Use the right size plates

For example, don’t store your DNA in deep block plates when you only have or need 150ul of the samples. You’ll save on plastic and freezer space.

8. Reuse old boxes

Save a few boxes of different sizes with Styrofoam insulators. You never know when you’ll need to ship something with dry ice. By having the right size box you can use the right amount of dry ice.

9. Get a mop! 

Don’t clean up your water and ice spills with paper towels or absorbent pads. This will come in handy when you defrost your -20 freezer as well.

10. Buy reusable/autoclavable reagent reservoirs 

You will reduce your plastic waste and save money in the long run!