Competing to Be Green

November 28, 2017
Professor Christina Woo in her lab

The Office for Sustainability employs pizza and snacks to incentivize faculty and students to implement green initiatives and reduce energy consumption. But, with CCB labs focused on environmental sustainability, green technology development, and climate change, it's no surprise that their drive to green our world requires no incentive.

Each month, the competition sparks dogged enthusiasm. Labs "shut the sash," dim the lights, manipulate their freezer settings, and hope their lab meets the competition goal. In October, a grand but not uncommon total of 15 labs met their green goals: Jacobsen, Betley, Myers, Park, Lieber, Shair, Gordon, Zhuang, Xie, Balskus, Kahne, Cohen, Weitz, Whitesides, and Nocera. The lucky randomly selected title winner? The Whitesides group

For these green enthusiasts, the "Shut the Sash" competition provides an opportunity to exceed expectations and test limits. The Hoekstra lab raised their freezer's temperature from -80° C to -70° C and reduced their "energy consumption on average by 36%, while maintaining the same long-term viability of the biological reagents." And, last month, the Kahne and Nocera labs volunteered to help the Office for Sustainability calibrate their portable gas analyzer to test air quality in the labs. Each small win earns pizza, yes, but also pride in creating sustainable change.

Read more

Harvard Gazette

Inside Harvard’s green labs

See also: Faculty, Graduate, Woo