Office of Sustainability Initiatives awards funds for 'green' labs, offices

Emory Report | June 20, 2016

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Thirteen diverse projects will receive grants through the inaugural Green Labs at Emory and Green Offices at Emory programs, created to fund innovative sustainability efforts led by faculty, staff and students.

Emory’s Office of Sustainability Initiatives has announced the recipients of its inaugural Green Labs at Emory and Green Offices at Emory Incentives Fund programs. These small grants are intended to fund innovative, timely and impactful projects led by students, faculty and staff to foster sustainability-related knowledge and habits in Emory’s laboratories and workspaces.

The 13 diverse lab and office projects selected this year will contribute to progress toward Emory’s new 2015-2025 Sustainability Vision and lead to new types of decision-making and education that will inspire culture change.

“Emory’s labs and offices are highly productive spaces that are prime innovation hubs for enhancing sustainability in everyday decisions, research, work and education,” says Kelly Weisinger, program coordinator in Emory’s Office of Sustainability Initiatives. “These funding opportunities empower our community members to design and implement ideas that could result in efficiency and conservation of both financial and natural resources, and pilot new methods and technologies that are replicable in many of Emory’s labs and offices.” 

Projects receive up to $5,000 in grant funding and must be completed within 12 months. All recipients were required to achieve certification under the Green Offices at Emory and Green Labs at Emory certification programs. The following proposals received funding for this year:  

  • Reducing Paper and Electricity Waste in Math & Science Building’s 5th Floor Labs (P.I. – Berry Brosi; Team Leader – Emily Dobbs): introducing paperless data collection by transitioning to tally clickers and iPads, and energy use reduction through the use of power strips
  • Blakey Lab Goes Green (P.I. – Simon Blakey; Team Leader – Amaan Kazerouni): reducing energy and water consumption through the use of power strips for electronic equipment, and reducing water consumption by replacing water aspirators with recirculating vacuum pumps and solvent traps
  • Global Health Moe Laboratory Goes Green (P.I. – Christine Moe; Team Leader – Milagros Aldeco): reducing waste through conversion to rechargeable batteries and the use of power strips for electronic equipment
  • Chemistry Department Paper Waste Reduction Through the Use of Chemical-Resistant Trays (P.I. – Sean Mo):  decreasing waste by replacing disposable trays with chemical-resistant reusable trays at each student station, and providing step-by-step guides for proper disposal and maximum landfill diversion for each experiment for staff, teaching assistants and students
  • Implementation of a Freezer Management Plan and its Effect on Energy Consumption (P.I. – Cassandra Quave; Team Leader – James Lyles): testing energy conservation through a comprehensive freezer management and inventory protocol with energy-usage monitoring and electronic door opening
  • Water Reduction in Oxford Teaching Labs (P.I. – Brenda Harmon): conserving water in student distillation procedures through the use of coolant pumps that recirculate water rather than using single pass-through water systems
  • Beauty Sustained by Consumables (P.I. – Daniel Brat; Team Leader – Carol Tucker-Burden): creating art in research areas and public spaces using recyclable research items
  • Department of Animal Resources’ Green Lab Initiative (P.I. – Doug Taylor; Team Leader – Maya E. Meeks): expanding recycling and composting in animal labs and office spaces in the Whitehead Biomedical Research Building’s Department of Animal Resources
  • Piloting Reusable Petri Dishes (P.I. – Levi Morran; Team Leader – McKenna Penley): testing sustainable reusable alternatives to disposable petri dishes in the biology department
  • Recycling Disposable Nitrile Gloves to Reduce Landfill Waste (P.I. – LaTonia Taliaferro-Smith): recycling nitrile gloves in Oxford biology teaching labs, research labs and prep rooms through the Kimberly-Clark RightCycle program
  • Cox Hall Re-balancing Recycling Centers (Team Leader – Dawn Francis-Chewning): expanding recycling and composting in Student Digital Life to complete a comprehensive Cox Hall landfill diversion program begun in January 2016
  • All Charged Up (Team Leader – Alison Agnew): implementing a rechargeable battery system for use in the Miller-Ward Alumni House’s public room A/V equipment and the alumni photographer’s camera