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PhD students help department become even greener

A group of PhD students from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, has set out to make their department even greener. They have therefore set up a committee called greenMBG, which will come up with proposals for initiatives needed to realise their goals.

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Some of the PhD students behind greenMBG (from left): Malte Grewoldt, Astrid Pold Vilstrup, Oscar Gabriel Sevillano Quispe, Maria Meisner Larsen, Anna Marie Martyn and Christian Enrico Rusbjerg-Weberskov. In addition, Martin also participate in the project (photo: Lisbeth Heilesen)
The temperature of the freezers have been changed from -80oC til -70oC (photo: Lisbeth Heilesen)

The Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (MBG) is already at the forefront of recycling plastic waste and used equipment, and now a group of PhD students from the department has set up a committee  – greenMBG – with the aim of making the department even greener.

As a first initiative, the greenMBG committee has encouraged everyone to change the temperature of the department's more than 30 ultra low temperature freezers from -80oC to -70oC. This small change alone will reduce the energy consumption of energy-intensive freezers by up to 50% without affecting the durability of the samples.

As another initiative, greenMBG has invited all staff and students at the department to a meeting where they will show interested parties how to reduce the consumption of disposable plastic and sort and recycle even more of the waste from the laboratories.

PhD students already have a very busy working day with research and teaching, but they have still felt that they had to do something to change things.

The greenMBG committee:

“After an inspiring workshop on sustainability in laboratory work at the department’s PhD conference last year, we were a group that wanted to do something to reduce the climate impact that comes with laboratory work. With this initiative, we want to focus on the things we can do to become more sustainable and make sustainability a natural part of everyday life in the laboratories at MBG.”

This sustainable way of thinking in research laboratories is gaining ground among universities worldwide. The PhD students want to use the experience gained at other universities to make MBG more sustainable, and they hope to get other departments at Aarhus University to take the same step to improve the environment.

More information

Please join greenMBG on Twitter: twitter@mbg_green

The labbook page 'greenMBG'

Please send questions and ideas to greenMBG at green.mbg@list.au.dk