NEB® TV Ep. 20 - Green Labs

In this episode of NEB TV, find tips for greening your lab, hear from the 2017 iGEM Goes Green team, and learn more about Labconscious, a site devoted to sustainability in the lab.


NEB TV. What's trending in science.


Deana Martin:

Welcome to NEB TV. Today, I am joined by Nicole Kelesoglu, who is the editor of Labconscious. Hi, Nicole.


Nicole Kelesoglu:

Hi, Deana.


Deana Martin:

And we are talking about Green Labs. In our Science In 60, we'll introduce some tips for greening your laboratory, then we will interview the 2017 iGEM Goes Green Team, and hear about some initiatives that they're working on. And lastly, Nicole will tell us about Labconscious, a website devoted to sustainability in your laboratory.


Are you ready?


Nicole Kelesoglu:



Deana Martin:



Science in 60


Scientists everywhere are being more environmentally conscious by cutting waste and improving lab productivity. You can start greening your lab today with these tips.


Keep freezers clean and organized. Place shut the sash stickers on fume and cell culture hoods. Add automatic timer switches to computer stations and bench top equipment. Invest in small vacuum pumps to replace water vacuum systems. Use recirculating water baths. Replace toxic chemicals with green alternatives. Choose greener lab supplies. Inventory, share or donate your reagents, chemicals, and lab equipment. Simple changes can produce long term benefits.


For more green lab tips visit


iGEM Goes Green!


Vanessa Gilly:

Hi. We are part of the iGEM Team TU Dresden 2017. And we founded the iGEM Goes Green Initiative to reach out for more sustainable lab work.


What are the goals of the "iGEM Goes Green" initiative?


Merle Brugmann:

The iGEM goes green initiative aims to encourage the scientific community to take responsibility for the environment implication of the biological lab work. The initiative started as a part of the iGEM competition for synthetic biology, where students from all over the world can take part and conquer real world problems using genetically engineered systems. So we hope that the iGEM Goes Green Initiative will become an inherent part of the iGEM competition to inspire a new generation of scientists to take action, take responsibility and improve their lab work, and not only at iGEM, but even beyond.


What resources are available for scientists?


Jonathan Hammer:

Our Go Green Guide comprises information and advice on how to make lab work, meetings, and business traveling more sustainable. Further, we designed a poster that contains 10 hints that can be easily applied in your daily work. Last but not least, we also developed a calculation tool based on Excel to determine the carbon footprint of your lab work.


What has your team been able to accomplish this year?


Nina Lautenschlager:

This year, we wanted to set a good example. Using our Excel tool, we were able to calculate our carbon footprint. This enabled us to identify the sources of high energy consumption and to improve our lab work. Further, we planted a tree in the botanical forest in Tarund, as a symbolic act for sustainability. We compensated for our flights to Boston by saving 640 square meters of Canadian rain forest in cooperation with Wilderness International, a local initiative in Dresden, in Germany.


What steps can others take toward a sustainable lab?


Lisa Schone:

If you're interested in our initiative iGEM Goes Green, and want to take your own first steps towards sustainable lab work, go and visit our website, or wire us an email. You can also search for the hashtag iGEM Goes Green on social media.


Contact us:



Social #iGEMGoesGreen (preferred method)


Helpful Online Tool


Nicole Kelesoglu:

The mission of Labconscious is to inform and connect scientists who want to run green labs. The Labconscious website is a place where scientists can learn from each other how to practice sustainable science.


There are three main ways that a laboratory will benefit from going green. Number one, you're going to conserve your research funding. Second, you're going to improve your laboratory safety and third, you're going to increase the productivity of your laboratory.


We invite all scientists to participate in Labconscious. You can post a blog and you can follow us on social media @Labconscious.


Deana Martin:

So Nicole, thank you so much for joining me today.


Nicole Kelesoglu:

Thanks for having me, Deana.


Deana Martin:

And as always, if you have any suggestions for future episodes, please let us know.

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