‘The time to green our labs is now’ is a video documentary of the Galway Green Labs initiative which led to the lab at CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices, being the first in Europe to be awarded Green Lab Certification.
It tells the story of this programme, which was spearheaded by Dr Una Fitzgerald, a CÚRAM funded Investigator and Director of the Galway Neuroscience Centre at NUI Galway. Together with her ‘green team’ of CÚRAM researchers and staff, and with the support of the University Registrar and Deputy President, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, and the Community University Sustainability Partnership(CUSP), she is working to transform practice across campus to address issues such as plastic waste, energy reduction, recycling, and water usage.
Explaining the motivation for establishing Galway Green Labs, Dr Fitzgerald said,“What has emerged is that people who work in labs are using 15-16 times more plastic than the average person in Ireland. This practice is done more so out of convenience than out of necessity, so we’re trying to change mind-sets to heighten our awareness of the cumulative negative impact on the environment of this way of working. All we’re asking lab scientists to do is question what they’re doing – to ask themselves, “Is there something I can do to lessen the environmental impact of my work in the lab”. And to talk to others, and spread the message of the urgent need for change.”