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Going Green Tips

Going Green Tips

Whether you’re an educator, a lab technician, or an administrator, reducing our environmental impact is crucial for creating a healthier planet and setting a positive example for future generations. Thanks to some of our LaBLiFers we explore effective tips, techniques, and best practices that can make a real difference. From simple changes in daily routines to innovative approaches that transform how we operate, every effort counts. Congratulations to Jack Palmer for winning this month’s LaBLiFe pin badge.

      1. Reuse Laminated Sheet Offcuts:

        Use offcuts of laminated sheets as coverslips for microscopy instead of purchasing new ones. – Denise Ralph (RSciTech), Woolmer Hill School.

      2. Scale Down Chemical Reactions:

        Halve the scale of reactions in chemistry practicals to conserve chemicals and reduce waste without compromising results. E.g. if your procedure asks for 50ml of sodium thiosulfate solution and 10ml of acid, use 25ml and 5ml respectively. You’ll get the same results. – Richard Blunt, Haileybury School

      3. Scale Down Chemical Use:

        Recently we have been working hard to scale down some of our practicals (electrolysis, decay and food tests). The decay practical plans will reduce our chemical use by 10 times in each lesson! – Jack Palmer, Woolmer Hill School.

      4. Reuse Old Sheets for Ecology Projects:

        Repurpose old sheets for insect collecting, encouraging sustainability in ecology studies. – Melanie Curd, St Clere’s School.

      5. Use Bubble Wrap for Insect Collection:

        Utilise bubble wrap, to safely collect insects from trees without harming them. – Melanie Curd, St Clere’s School.

      6. Implement Paperless Assignments:

        Encourage digital submissions and feedback to reduce paper usage and waste.

      7. Opt for Energy-Efficient Equipment:

        Choose energy-efficient appliances and equipment to reduce electricity consumption in labs and classrooms.

      8. Encourage Reusable Labware:

        Substitute disposable items with reusable alternatives wherever possible, such as glassware and containers.

      9. Promote Water Conservation:

        Educate students and staff on water-saving techniques, such as using minimal water for experiments and ensuring taps are turned off properly.

      10. Establish Recycling Stations:

        Set up clearly labelled recycling stations for paper, plastics, glass, and other recyclable materials to encourage proper waste disposal and recycling.

        Encourage composting organic waste and ensure proper disposal of hazardous waste to protect the environment and human health.

    Green Chemistry:

    Green chemistry is an approach to chemical design and production that aims to minimise the use of hazardous chemicals and reduce waste generation. First articulated in the 1990s by Paul Anastas and John Warner, it has since become widely adopted as a framework for designing and evaluating chemical processes and products.The 12 principles of green chemistry are:

        1. Prevention: It is better to prevent waste than to clean it up after it has been created.
        2. Atom economy: Processes should maximise the use of all materials involved, and waste should be minimised.
        3. Less hazardous chemical syntheses: The use of hazardous substances should be minimised, and if possible, avoided altogether.
        4. Designing safer chemicals: Chemical products should be designed to be less harmful to human health and the environment.
        5. Safer solvents and reaction conditions: The use of solvents and reaction conditions that are safer and more sustainable should be prioritised.
        6. Design for energy efficiency: Chemical processes should be designed to minimise energy consumption and promote energy efficiency.
        7. Use of renewable feedstocks: The use of renewable feedstocks should be prioritised, and non-renewable resources should be used sparingly.
        8. Reduce derivatives: The generation of derivatives should be minimised, and alternative strategies should be explored.
        9. Catalysis: The use of catalysts should be prioritised to reduce waste and increase efficiency.
        10. Design for degradation: Chemical products should be designed to be easily broken down into non-hazardous substances after use.
        11. Real-time analysis for pollution prevention: Processes should be monitored in real-time to prevent pollution and minimise waste.
        12. Inherently safer chemistry for accident prevention: Chemical processes and products should be designed to minimise the risk of accidents and ensure worker safety.

With these tips in mind, collaborative efforts are essential for promoting sustainability in the scientific industry. By working together, we can share best practices, resources, and expertise to promote sustainability. This includes collaborations between academic institutions, research organisations, and industry partners.

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