Cost Comparison: LEDs vs Traditional Halogen Lighting [Infographic]

Originally posted by Chris Horridge on Expert Electrical
Thank you Brit for sharing!

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Save energy and keep you hands warm – The “Green Laboratory Program” at the University of Washington

Hello again. Today I’d like to continue our series about how to be eco-friendly in a laboratory. Remember last weeks post about the initiative at the Simon Fraser University? Here’s another university promoting green laboratories: the University of Washington. Besides the Green Office, Green Greek (“acknowledges and educates Greek community members about their habits at home relating to sustainability”) and “SEED Green Endorsement” (recognising UW students living on campus and off, who are thoughtful about the impact of their daily life on the environment), it has the Green Laboratory Program, which I’ll introduce here now in more detail, i.e. especially the Freezer Challenge.

As pointed out on their website, “Laboratories are one of the main generators of waste …”. So true. Working in a molecular biology lab, I’v thrown away a lot of consumables every day – all the reaction vials called Eppis, all the disposable pipette tips, transfer pipets, micro plates, … – it’s simply the way, it’s the way they are supposed to be used: just once. And then you throw them away.

But leaving this aspect aside for the moment (more about this in a later post), there’s another factor with a huge impact on the environment: the energy consumption of a laboratory. I didn’t know that a lab is “using about 4 times more energy than an office of the same size”. Wow. But giving it some thought, I absolutely believe it because there’s a lot of equipment running from morning to evening or even 24h. Of course, some equipment has to run permanently, such as the various incubators, fridges and freezers. After all, your freezer at home also runs 24/7, doesn’t it? But – and here’s an important difference – your freezer at home probably got a good Energy Star rating. Why? Let’s be honest: because it’s you who’s paying the electricity bill and getting one of those A+++ fridges is one one way to save money, isn’t it?

I know, we’re back talking about money and not just about saving the environment. My feeling is that you can’t avoid this connection – there’s simply a strong link between them. Anyway, why not use saving money as a strong motivation to be more eco friendly? In the laboratory, it’s the university who’s paying the bills. But if you care about it anyway and help them to reduce their energy bill:

a) you’ve done something good for the planet and
b) you might get more money for your research – at least, you’d very much hope, that’s where the saved money ends up.

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Fruits, Vegetables & Herbs (when are they in season?)

by Russell van Kraayenburg on Chasing Delicious Kitchen 101

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The “Green Labs” initiative at the Simon Fraser University, British Columbia (Canada)

GreenLabs

Today I would like to introduce you to an initiative of the Simon Fraser University in Canada, which promotes the idea of running a green laboratory. It’s a nice example, which shows actually what is a green lab and what exactly can you personally do?

So, what is a green lab? When you google this, as I did searching for information on this topic, you find quite a few laboratories that are interested in researching plants. True, plants are green (at least most of them), but that’s not what we’re talking about here. Any lab can be a green lab, even if none of its members are even remotely interested in plants, if it is run in a way that you are aware of how you are using your resources – energy, consumables, water – and do so in a more sustainable way. Or in other words, you go easy on your resources and don’t waste them like there is no tomorrow.

Now, why would you want to run a green lab? Well, you might hope that it is done because of a higher motive – you want to save the earth and protect the environment. But I fear it always boils down to this ugly truth: it’s about money. Nowadays more than ever. Budgets are getting smaller and smaller and everyone is forced to do more with less money. And guess what? As the SFU points out, “a green lab saves money”. A lab needs energy, water and consumables – all things that cost money. It might be disappointing to discover that this is one or even the main motivation behind it. But hey, in the end reducing the energy and water consumption does the environment some good. After all, “A green lab reduces our carbon footprint.”

And what can you do in a lab? It’s actually not that different from a normal household. If you have a look at the SFU’s Green Lab Guide, one of the main tips is the good old “Turn it off!” If you’re not in a room anymore – turn off the lights. You’re experiment is done and neither you nor any colleague is going to need that instrument anytime soon – turn it off. You’re done with your internet research and going back to the bench now – turn off the PC or at least put it to sleep. Simple as that.

These are just a few spotlights on the tips provided on the SFU’s Green Lab website. Have a closer look at it for more tips and read their Green Labs Guide. And very important – share these ideas with you colleagues and get them on board too. Remember, they might not be an environmentalist like you are, but they won’t sneeze at the idea of saving a few bucks!

Oh, and even more important: before you’re now running off to your lab to put these tips into practice, turn off this computer! 😉

Source:
Green Labs by @SFU

15 Tricks to Save Money on Food But Still Eat Well via @eatingwell

1Mondays

Tips to help you save money at the grocery store while eating healthy.

Being prepared before heading to the store is the best way to make sure you stick to your grocery shopping budget. But there are also some strategies to keep in mind and ingredients to keep an eye out for at the store. Here are some of our favorite ways to save while shopping.

1. Skip The Prepackaged Salad Mix

Sure, bagged salad mixes are convenient. And anything that makes it easier to eat your veggies is a good thing. But they’re also expensive and can quickly go from perky to wilted to downright slimy. So try buying heads of lettuce (which often last longer in your crisper) and make your own mixes. Try mixing up romaine, radicchio, red leaf and/or escarole.

2. Grow Your Own

Another option for salad greens is to grow your own—they don’t take up much space and they grow quickly. For about the cost of a bag of salad greens ($3) you can buy a packet of seeds for mixed salad greens. The packets have 500 seeds and will plant a 30-foot long row of greens. (We’re not sure exactly how many salads that translates into, but it’s safe to say you’ll be swimming in salads for weeks.)

3. Buy Spices From The Bulk Bins

Spices are one of the keys to keeping food both healthy and delicious, because when you use bold flavors you don’t need as much fat. Look for a store that carries spices in bulk—the price per ounce is often less expensive. Plus you can buy a smaller amount, which helps you save in two ways: The up-front price is less. But perhaps more important, spices have a shelf life. After a year or two in your cupboard they just don’t have as much flavor. So when you buy smaller amounts, you’re less likely to have old spices sitting around that are ready for the trash can—a serious waste of money.

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