Simple Things Everyone can do Today

Working in the Natural Sciences, you just can't help but notice the amount of waste we produce on a daily basis.

No matter if you are a Master Student, PhD, Post-Doc, PI or Technician, you have the power to start changing things today. 


  • Make sure your fume hoods are shut. These are some of the most energy intensive machines in the lab.
  • Only keep you freezers open for as long as necessary. The best way to do this is to manage your freezer library.
  • Turn off lights when leaving a room
  • Turn off machines when not in use
  • Label equipment with “turn me off” stickers - we recommend: "Turn me off before you GO GO"
  • Turn off or hibernate your computers at the end of each day
  • Turn off heatblocks if they are not in use
  • Don't leave the PCR cycler running at 4°C overnight. If you have to leave, ask someone to take out your samples.


  • Place a scrap paper bin near the printer(s)
  • Recycle office supplies - e.g. paper, return unused toner to the supplier
  • Figure out what your consumables are mede of, and how they can be recycled.
  • Figure out which consumables can be reused if properly washed/sterilized.
  • Re-use gloves where possible
  • Avoid ordering single items. Coordinate with other labs and merge orders to avoid excess packaging and multiple deliveries.


  • Don't start the autoclave half empty. Go around and ask people if the want to add something. Autoclaves use up to 200L of water per cycle.
  • The same goes for the dishwashers (both lab and kitchen)
  • If you have access to it, use an motor-driven vacuum pump instead of a water-jet pump. These use up to 15L per minutes