Beyond obvious environmentally conscious practices such as turning off lights and electrical devices when not in use, exploring more sustainable lab design, choosing more energy efficient equipment, and better educating your staff about good “green” practices, this month’s cover story goes even farther. According to author Allison Paradise, executive director of My Green Lab, there has recently been a rise in “innovative, cost-effective solutions for improved laboratory sustainability, solidifying a permanent and much-needed shift in how scientists think about their labs as well as their labs’ impact on the planet.” This year we look more closely at the use and reuse of laboratory plasticware, ways to further improve water usage and conservation, and the push toward laboratory equipment and instrumentation sharing.
This April Earth Month issue also looks at the role that a well-designed water purification system can play in reducing a lab’s environmental footprint. “Choosing more sustainable water purification technologies and solutions will ensure long-term conservation of resources, less environmental waste, and long-term cost savings,” say the authors of this month’s Business Management article, “Make Every Drop Count.”
Another sort of environmental issue is addressed in our Health & Safety article this month, that being your lab’s indoor air quality. In “Is This Building Making Me Sick?”, author Vince McLeod offers up guidelines for avoiding and minimizing the negative impact of poor indoor air quality often caused by building renovation projects or adjacent new construction.
For researchers involved in environmental analysis—be it water, soil, or air— the use of field instruments has become essential to their work. Tools such as environmental meters, portable GCs, and NIR spectroradiometers find welcomed application in those areas. However, these tools and others are now making their way into industrial and clinical applications as well. For all the latest in handheld analytical instruments, check out “Out Here in the Field”.
At the far opposite end of the environmental research equipment spectrum is this month’s “Labs Less Ordinary”, which showcases the Gulfstream-V HIAPER atmospheric research jet. As opposed to lightweight and portable, this “lab” can carry 5,600 pounds of scientific payload and analyze ambient air at flight level in real time, depending on what techniques are being used.
In addition to all of our “green” topics this month, there is a wealth of technological and instrumentation information as well. Please take a few minutes to explore the issue to find what best suits your research and management needs.
Here’s to spring.