Green Labs

Green Labs

Elicia Preston is the leader of Green Labs for UPenn and works to improve the sustainability of the Murray Lab, which they manage.  They campaign for campus-wide changes to lessen the huge energy and landfill impact that labs have.  Penn Labs account for 37% of Penn's energy usage. Within Penn Labs, 19% of energy is used for cooling.
Check out the Green Labs Guide

Gren Labs Guide link


Too Cool for School (Freezer Energy-Saving Campaign)

Currently Elicia & Emily Meymand & Emily Cribas are driving a push to get freezers switched from -80ºC to -70ºC, as this will reduce freezer energy consumption by up to 30-40%.  It is also best for your freezers (and the same for your samples) and reagents to be -20 (vs -30ºC or -40ºC) There are many other freezer maintainence changes you can make to save energy. Please read these slides by Meymand and listen to the science and the earth on this issue.

Check out more info on how to save tons of energy and increase freezer lifespans  with Meymand, Cribas & Preston's Freezer Campaign

Too Cool for School

Check out the International Freezer Challenge for labs:

International Freezer Challenge


Banning Plastics

Elicia dreams that someday at least UPenn - if not the entire city/state/country - will ban plastics, like UCL did:

"UCL to ban crisp packets and petri dishes in crackdown on single-use plastic”:

Article on University that banned single-use plastics:


Reusable Glass Petri Dishes

The Murray lab uses reusable glass petri dishes to reduce landfill and energy waste.

Learn more about that journey here:

How to switch to reusable petri dishes (article & video)

Elicia's glass Petri dish

Elicia's using their glass petri dishes. (all photos by Scott Spitzer/ Penn Today)


Green Labs Resources

Check out many suggestions on how to make you lab more sustainable and getting your lab Green Labs certified here:

Green Labs UPenn

UPenn Green Labs website

Email Elicia for more information on sustainability in labs and in life.

Penn Today article on Green Labs / Elicia


Specialty Recycling in Philly

Would you like to know where to recycle specialty items like electronics, batteries, glasses, pens, light bulbs, printer toner?

Take these items here: Specialty Recycling

Unusable shoes -> take to Philadelphia Runner

Plastic bags & flexible plastic packaging -> take to grocery stores, Drexel gym, Lowe's



Elicia's 5 Rs

In life and lab, Elicia wants you to remember their 5 Rs, in this order:

Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Repurpose, Recycle