Sustainability News

3 ways to celebrate sustainably during graduation

3 ways to celebrate sustainably during graduation

The end of a semester always comes with the joy of a new batch of graduates. Finishing college calls for celebration. However, documenting these milestone moments can create environmentally damaging[…]

Green Labs finds cool way to reuse ice packs

Green Labs finds cool way to reuse ice packs

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. We’re all familiar with this adage from the 1970s environmental movement. On our campus, UAB Sustainability is always on the lookout to find innovative ways to reduce,[…]

Recycling during spring cleaning

Recycling during spring cleaning

Reducing waste is more sustainable than recycling, and there are simple substitutes available to make it happen.

Did you hear the buzz? UAB is now a Bee Campus USA

Did you hear the buzz? UAB is now a Bee Campus USA

For its work to promote bee conservation and growth on campus, UAB has been named a Bee Campus USA by Bee City USA, which recognizes, supports and encourages pollinator conservation[…]

6 things to expect when UAB demolishes a building

6 things to expect when UAB demolishes a building

As UAB inventories existing buildings, it often razes low-performing, low-quality and inefficient buildings. Curious about the demolition process and what it might mean for you? Here’s what to expect.

Kudos to UAB’s “20 by 25” renewable energy plan

Kudos to UAB’s “20 by 25” renewable energy plan

Jim McClintock, Ph.D., shares his support for the UAB Sustainability Office’s energy plan, “20 by 25,” which aims to convert 20 percent of UAB’s electrical energy to renewable energy by[…]

celebrate graduation sustainablyThe end of a semester always comes with the joy of a new batch of graduates. Finishing college calls for celebration. However, documenting these milestone moments can create environmentally damaging waste.

“UAB Sustainability works hand-in-hand with our Facilities Grounds team to find solutions to everyday problems,” said Bambi Ingram, manager of UAB Sustainability. “One of those problems is how good-intentioned students can cause harm to our campus and our environment. Graduation celebrations are understandably festive, but we want to ensure you can celebrate sustainably.”

ice pack cropped squareReduce, Reuse, Recycle. We’re all familiar with this adage from the 1970s environmental movement. On our campus, UAB Sustainability is always on the lookout to find innovative ways to reduce, reuse and recycle materials.

“The saying ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ is often misinterpreted as all three actions being equal – we really want to emphasize that these actions are in this order for a reason: if you have too much of something that would otherwise end up in a landfill, find another use for that item by reusing it before trying to recycle it,” said Nick Ciancio, sustainability coordinator.

One initiative has helped find another use for the many ice packs that are used in deliveries to UAB’s research laboratories. Through the UAB Green Labs program, the ice packs are collected and sent to the Market at Pepper Place and other organizations. 

sus freezer awardThe UAB Green Labs Program bested more than 40 universities and colleges from around the globe to win the overall academic award in the annual Freezer Challenge hosted by My Green Lab and the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL). More than 30 UAB labs competed and UAB conserved 872 kWh/day (318,280 kWh), equivalent to roughly the annual energy usage of 30 homes.

UAB Chemistry student Jaden Cowan with waterless condensersUAB Department of Chemistry graduate student Jaden Cowan uses waterless condensers. UAB’s Green Labs program piloted two water conservation measures in four UAB chemistry laboratories in 2021. The team installed waterless condensers in place of traditional condensers and vacuum pumps to replace water aspirators. Nick Ciancio, sustainability program coordinator with UAB Sustainability, has worked closely with the labs to make the transition.