Campus Photo

Be an Eco Leader in your Lab! 


Every three months, Eco-leader meetings are held with pizza, dessert, presentations, and discussions. Eco-Leaders are invited to particular meetings based upon their department or the type of science occurring in their lab. Below is a picture of some of our wonderful Eco-Leaders from MCDB, IPhy, and ChemE!

Eco Leaders

What is a Lab Eco-Leader?

A Lab Eco-Leader is a volunteer who cares about resource consumption in laboratories and would like to encourage the efficient use of energy and water in his or her lab. By nature, laboratories are particularly large consumers of resources. One goal of the CU Green Labs Program is to have a Lab Eco-Leader established in every laboratory on campus.

More specifically, a Lab Eco-Leader is a technician, graduate student, or post-doctorate who:

  1. Helps CU Green Labs assess resource consumption in the lab
  2. Helps identify possibilities for using energy and water more efficiently in the laboratory, especially among the greatest consumers
  3. Discusses changes with the Principal Investigator (PI) before changes are implemented
  4. Helps implement efficiency measures in the laboratory such as:
    • removing equipment from the grid that is no longer used or is redundant
    • posting proper shutdown and startup procedures for instrumentation
    • installing timers on equipment for automatic shutdown and startup
    • posting signs or stickers on equipment describing the impact made by implementing the change
    • setting up equipment sharing between labs rather than duplication
  5. Educates other lab members on efficient practices and ensures follow through by lab members
  6. Solicits ideas/feedback from other laboratory members
  7. Encourages laboratory members to consider energy or water use before purchasing new equipment and whether existing equipment already in use in the laboratory or nearby laboratories can be utilized to meet need instead .
  8. Reports energy and water waste in labs to Kathy; in other locations on campus to the Conservation Hotline at or 303-735-6202.
  9. Finds a new lab member to take on the role of Lab Eco-Leader before leaving the lab.

If this sounds like something that interests you, please contact Kathy at It would be great to have you on board!

Action Items For Lab Eco-Leaders:

  • Quarterly Eco-Leader meetings to share your ideas, give input, and learn about what’s new
  • Read emails sent by CU Green Labs which often contain info about new ways to participate and new incentives
  • Make announcements at your lab group meetings about CU Green Lab items applicable to your lab
  • Help Push Manufacturer Responsibility by always asking and buying the most energy efficient and environmentally-friendly products possible, and encouraging your lab members to do the same. Your dollars have impact!
  • Maintenance Program for Refrigerators and Freezers: Let us come clean your coils and show you how to properly maintain your units for better performance and energy savings. Participating labs are able to take part in a raffle contest at least twice a year. Sign up your lab by contacting Kathy at Please be sure to have PI approval.
  • Lab Assessment: fill out the lab assessment form, submit, and meet with Kathy
  • Low-Flow Faucet Attachments for your Lab Sinks: If you mainly use your lab sinks for washing hands, dishes, etc. then low flow attachments are ideal for water conservation in your lab. To sign up to try out low-flow faucet attachments, fill out the survey monkey at Please be sure to have PI approval.
  • Keep VAV Fume Hoods Shut When Not in Use for large energy savings. All hoods should stay closed anyways for safety when not in use. If you are unsure whether you have a VAV (Variable Air Volume) Hood or CAV (Constant Air Volume) Hood, read the page on Fume Hoods or contact Kathy at
  • Free Timers for Lab Equipment: If your equipment can simply be shutdown with the flip of switch, then large or small we can work with you to have it put on a timer for energy savings. To inquire about timers, contact Kathy at 

Contact Info:

Kathy Ramirez-Aguilar, Ph.D.

CU Green Labs Program Manager