By Annika Jung | Jan 18, 2018

The Rabinovitch Lab was certified as a Gold Green Laboratory in October for their amazing green strategies. The Rabinovitch Lab focuses on pathology, and puts in great efforts to make sure their daily operations are sustainable.

Jeanne Fredrickson, laboratory manager of the Rabinovitch lab, is very enthusiastic and passionate about keeping her lab green. In 2008, when Jeanne first became lab manager, she had noticed the amount of Styrofoam her office was accumulating from different shipments and packages. Piles of this Styrofoam were being thrown out and Jeanne searched for a way to end this cycle.

Jeanne saw a system at IKEA where customers could bring in their Styrofoam for recycling, and the company reused the Styrofoam for new structures. This lit a lightbulb in Jeanne’s head and she suggested this idea to UW Recycling in 2009. UW Recycling worked with Jeanne and the lab on a pilot to gauge the need for a Styrofoam recycling program. In one week, Jeanne collected four large bags filled with Styrofoam from packaging, helping spur UW Recycling to investigate starting a Styrofoam recycling program.

Today, UW Recycling offers Styrofoam recycling across campus, allowing the Rabinovitch Lab and other workspaces on campus to avoid sending their Styrofoam packaging in the landfill.

Jeanne helped initiate this movement that has begun in her lab floor that has spread across the whole campus. Jeanne also continues to apply innovative lab practices because she believes that she should make a contribution that will help our world. The Rabinovitch research lab has helped reduce the environmental footprint produced by the University of Washington and we look forward to watching them grow and apply new green techniques in their lab. 

The Green Laboratory certification program has resources available to advance sustainable lab operations, and we would love to help promote green efforts and innovation to inspire other to be sustainable.