Nestled in the Department of Environmental and Forest Sciences on south campus, the DeLuca Lab is a little different than its peers. Shutdown procedures cover its machines, signs with friendly reminders not to drain soil hover over its sinks, and as of now, it holds the Green Laboratory Certification Program’s highest sustainability score.
School of Environmental and Forest Sciences director Tom DeLuca made sustainability a priority when designing the DeLuca Lab. After hearing that a colleague had received a silver award from the Green Laboratory Certification Program, he and lab manager Amanda Bidwell designed their lab procedures around the program’s guidelines.
“There are all sorts of ways that we as a society can improve and create a system that is stable,” DeLuca said. “Trying to have a green lab is just one really modest step in that direction.”
Held by the Green Laboratory Certification Program, the competition is among efforts by the program to incentivize labs to go green.
In an effort to broaden sustainable practices at the UW, the Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability office launched the Green Laboratory Certification Program just over a year ago. Since then, 26 labs have been certified.
By reporting their practices in areas like recycling and education, labs can earn bronze, silver, or gold awards. Strategies to boost scores range from using fieldwork travel efficiently to collecting giant aluminum balls for recycling.