Green EEB

Conserving energy and recycling in Kraus (PDF)

Planet Blue Operations Team

Become a Planet Blue citizen here and learn more.

Single stream recycling now available

Departmental policies to conserve energy and recycle

  • Paper cups and plates - Use of paper cups and plates should be minimized. Reusable, dishwasher-safe cups and plates are available for any and all departmental functions, as well as for personal use. See front desk staff for these items.
  • Departmental office equipment - With the exception of the fax machine, all machines in the departmental office (printer, copier, scanner, and all computers), will be turned off at night and over weekends and holidays. For access to printers during these times, use the laser printers in the graduate student lounge (NS 2060). Check with EEB IT staff (bio-it@umich.edu) if you need to get connected to these printers.
  • Heating and cooling - At night and on weekends and holidays, the thermostats will be set at 65 degrees F in the winter and 78 degrees F in the summer.

Energy saving and recycling recommendations for the Kraus Building (offices, laboratories, prep rooms, equipment rooms, conference rooms, etc.)

Approximately 80% of the cost of energy on campus is used for heating and cooling! Here are two simple and very effective ways you can save energy:

Heating and cooling: Set the thermostats in your office and laboratory at 68 degrees F in the winter and 75 degrees F in the summer (dress appropriately for the season). When no one will be working in your office or laboratory for an extended period, such as at night, over the weekend, or during trips and vacations, set the thermostats at 65 degrees F in the winter and 78 degrees F in the summer, if doing so will not interfere with research.

Hoods: Close the sash on your laboratory hood when it is not in use (and turn off the light in the hood when it is not needed), and when the hood is in use, set the sash height to the minimum necessary for the work underway.

Other practical suggestions for recycling and saving energy

Cups and plates: For coffee, tea, and other beverages, and for food, use reusable cups and plates; avoid using paper and styrofoam cups whenever possible.

Single-stream recycling is now available in the building. You no longer need to sort containers from paper and cardboard. Use the recycling containers and the recycling dumpster outside the loading dock for paper, cardboard, and most metal, plastic, and cardboard containers (styrofoam is still not recyclable). When printing documents, print only when necessary, and use two-sided printing (contact bio-it@umich.edu for how to set this up on your printer). Also, save and use scrap paper for printing drafts and other documents whenever possible.

Please see the PDFs linked above for a full list of what’s recyclable and what’s not.

Lighting: Turn off the lights in your office and laboratory when you leave for an extended period, such as for lunch, seminar, etc., and make sure all lights are turned off when the last person leaves for the day. Use task lighting instead of overhead lighting when possible.

Windows: Keep lab and office windows closed during cold winter months.

Kraus sustainability report (PDF)

Computers: Set your office and laboratory computers (hard drive and monitor) to go into automatic sleep if not used for 10 -15 minutes, unless needed for on-going analyses. Alternatively, manually put the computer hard drive and monitor to sleep when not being used. Consider shutting down and turning off your computers at the end of the day instead of leaving them on in sleep mode.

Refrigerators and freezers: Properly maintain your refrigerators, freezers, and ultra-low temperature freezers by cleaning the cooling coils and filters whenever they are dirty and at least every three months. These easy steps will help ensure that the unit's compressors run efficiently. Also, periodically remove ice buildup and replace damaged or worn gaskets, and repair any loose door handles.

Equipment and machines: Turn off any laboratory equipment or office machines that will not be used for extended periods, such as overnight and on weekends, if doing so will not interfere with research. Examples include microcentrifuges, water baths, power supplies, etc. Maintain equipment according to manufacturer's standards. For example, change the oil in vacuum pumps and clean filters as recommend by the manufacturer.

Adopt a last-person-out policy: The last person to leave the lab, office, or conference room should be responsible for turning off equipment, computers, office machines, and the lights.

Prep rooms
Automatic lights: Even for rooms with automatic, motion-sensor light switches, turn the lights off manually when you leave the room.

Autoclaves: Swing the door shut when you have finished using an autoclave; this will reduce the amount of heat lost from the unit while it is sitting idle.

Dishwashers and glass dryers: Turn the unit off when you remove your glassware.

Deionized water stills: Report any problems, such as a unit running continuously or water leaking from it, to bio.maint@umich.edu.

Elsewhere in the building

Elevators: Use the stairs instead of the elevators for moving between floors.

Hallway doors: Keep the hallway double doors closed. These are fire doors and should be kept closed for safety as well as to limit heating and cooling costs.

Loading dock door: Keep the loading dock garage door closed when not in use.

Water conservation

If any of the faucets in your laboratory leak, contact bio.maint@umich.edu so that the problem can be fixed.

If you have other ideas for saving energy or recycling in Kraus, send them to: Paul Dunlap, EEB space and facilities coordinator.