The Green Labs Initiative project aims to address the environmental and financial waste of scientific labs at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) by implementing lab material recycling programs, creating online resources, and organizing events to change the culture within the MNI.
Read the full project description
The benefits of scientific research should not be outweighed by its heavy environmental cost, given its dependence on single-use plastics, hazardous chemicals and energy-intensive equipment. While many may try to reduce their impact at home, it is difficult to apply the same diligence in a laboratory setting.
From an initial consultation with students and staff, The Neuro has identified several challenges in reducing the impact of their research:
1) a lack of awareness of the proper disposal of lab waste, alternative lab practices, and relevant resources available, and
2) a facility-level infrastructure that has not yet incorporated green alternatives.
This project plans to transition the MNI to more environmentally-friendly labs by addressing these challenges in parallel. The MNI will be organizing seminars, social events, and campaigns in order to promote sustainable lab practices, and implementing infrastructure changes such as lab material recycling boxes to create an environment conducive to reducing waste. These two goals will be further supported by creating a website with general sustainable lab information, as well as MNI-specific resources and services.
While this project will initially target the largest labs for the costlier aspects of the project, the team will be collecting data on waste diversion and water/energy reduction to raise further enthusiasm and funding for this initiative. The project will be maintained by a group of 'Green Lab Ambassadors', volunteers who will promote and monitor sustainability within their labs, and will be rewarded with incentives such as funds to purchase green lab products.
Funds from the SPF will be used to purchase recycling boxes and related equipment, campaign/events materials, and incentives, as well as compensate a website creator.
Connect with this project
gliatneuro [at] gmail.com (subject: Green%20Labs%20Initiative%20at%20the%20Neuro%20(SPF0208))