Do you have a creative idea to make your lab or research activity more sustainable? Apply for the Green Labs Fund, and your lab could receive up to $4,000 for your innovative plan.
The Green Labs Fund is available to applicants from both UBC Okanagan and UBC Vancouver campuses. All UBC staff, faculty and students are eligible to apply.
To be eligible, proposals should:
- Strengthen sustainability at UBC through reduction of environmental impacts of research activities
- Benefit the UBC scientific community
- Be within the range of $250 to $4000
- Have an immediate or short-term benefit and practical applicability
Funding applications that meet the following additional criteria may be considered more favourably:
- Projects with measurable outcomes
- Projects that are creative and innovative
- Project that are scalable and could be implemented by other researchers/departments at UBC
Funding for the following will NOT be considered:
- Expenses including: recurring expenditures of previously approved projects, departmental operational expenses, historical spending/debts, scholarships, grants or bursaries.
- Activities that do not address greening laboratories (e.g. leisure or activity programs).
- Research-based projects or long-term projects that are grant funded (i.e. basic science "green" research projects, although extremely worthwhile, are beyond the scope of this fund).
- New research/teaching lab start-up expenses (i.e. usually covered by research/teaching start-up grants).
How to Apply to the Green Labs Fund
The 2023 submission cycle is closed. The next cycle will open January-March 2024.
Previous projects funded
- UBC's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering received $4000 to promote sustainable AI research by developing and implementing carbon footprint monitoring software for AI model training and producing guidance for model training efficiency.
- The Museum of Anthropology at UBC received $4000 to design, test and build equipment that allows for the reuse of high-quality exhibition mount and mount offcut materials.
- The UBC Okanagan School of Engineering was awarded funding to design and develop reusable steel formwork for studying sustainable reinforced concrete walls, reducing wood waste from conventional, disposable plywood formwork.
- The UBC School of Biomedical Engineering in Vancouver received funding to recycle discards from 3D printing to create new filament for reuse in 3D printers, reducing waste and supporting a circular economy.
- The UBCO Department of Chemistry was awarded funding to create a Canvas-based resource to engage and educate undergraduates on Green Chemistry, including hazardous chemicals and sustainable alternatives.
- The UBCO School of Engineering won Green Labs funding for their project to upcycle campus wood discards into functional pieces for their department, reducing waste and extending the wood's life cycle.
- A lab in the Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences received $4000 to design, build and test a multi-nozzle cleaning system to efficiently clean large numbers of plastic drosophila (fruit fly) vials used in research projects. Once cleaned, the previously single-use vials are expected to be reusable up to 24 times and to eliminate hundreds of kilograms of unrecyclable plastic waste each year in a single lab.
- The UBC Okanagan Undergraduate Chemistry Teaching Labs received $4000 to update two experiments in the general chemistry curriculum and reduce the high volume of hazardous waste with the use of simulations, apps and videos. Each experiment will impact close to 700 students each term.
- The Advanced Materials and Process Engineering Laboratory (AMPEL) received $2000 to develop a monitoring system for laboratory equipment. This system is intended to allow facility managers to obtain precise information on the energy consumption and level of usage of individual instruments in their laboratories. If the pilot project proves successful, this system could be scaled to other laboratories.
- UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture received $4000 to test a reusable molding. If successful they hope to use a renewable wax substance and reduce the waste currently associated with student design projects.
- UBC Department of Botany received $2500 to test new generation light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for plant growth chambers. The project will reduce energy consumption and use of mercury. The department has almost 100 environmental chambers, if successful, the project has significant potential for scalability.
- An Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences department lab received $3070 to test a new method for seawater preservation. This will reduce the use of toxic chemicals (mercury).
- UBC Okanagan Chemistry received $1580 to develop a custom water circulator for cooling to cool reflux and distillation systems. This project will reduce laboratory water usage.
- UBC Biochemistry third and fourth year teaching labs at UBC Vancouver received $4000 to replace their water cooled stills with an ultrafiltration water purification system. The project helps to reduce water and energy consumption.
- A Biology department research lab at UBC Okanagan received $1000 to replace water baths and ice buckets with reusable Lab Armor beads. The project helps to reduce water and energy consumption.
- The Centre for Blood Research at the Life Science Centre received $3600 to purchase a Lancer Dishwasher 100 hole pipette rack. This pilot project demonstrates the benefits of using a more efficient rack that cleans up to 100 glass pipettes at a time. This reduces water consumption, energy use, and solid waste (use of glass pipettes instead of plastic pipettes).
- UBC Okanagan Chemical Engineering received $2,500 for its Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) waste reduction project.
- UBC Okanagan Chemistry Unit 3 received $2,500 for its Water Aspirator Replacement project.
- UBC Okanagan Health and Exercise Sciences received $1,000 for its Sustainable Support of Undergraduate Student Research and Education through the Anatomical Models project.
- Michael Smith Labs received $925 to demonstrate the benefits from the properties of light-emitting diode (LED) technology to reduce energy consumption, heat production, use of toxic chemicals (mercury), as well as to optimize the quality of light for the growth of plants.
- The James Hogg Research Centre received $350 for their project to recycle bio-organic material to benefit wild raptor rehabilitation facilities.
- UBC Malcolm Knapp Research Forest (MKRF) received $5,000 for the rehabilitation of old forestry research project sites and the clean-up of abandoned research installations at MKRF project.
- The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering received $1,978 to demonstrate the benefit of a living bio-wall to the indoor air quality of research buildings.
- The Department of Mining and Engineering received $3,420 to demonstrate a water reduction opportunity by implementing an alternative to water aspirators.
- The iCapture Centre received $1,000 for a Styrofoam reduction and recycling pilot project.
- The Department of Chemistry received funds to replace mercury manometers with electrical devices.
- The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering received fund to develop a chemical and equipment database.
- The iCAPTURE Centre received $2,000 for a Green Research Challenge and material substitution initiative.