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The Colorado Department of Agriculture is now home of the first government laboratory to receive the highest level of certification from a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainability in scientific labs' protocols.

“I was incredibly impressed with the work the scientists at the Colorado Department of Agriculture did,” said Rachael Relph, the chief sustainability officer of the San Diego-based My Green Lab. “They made considerable changes to how they were using energy intensive equipment like fume hoods and cold storage, and found ways to reduce waste and implement green chemistry techniques in the labs.” 

My Green Health found that the department during the past year cut its water usage by 460,000 gallons annually and its waste by 400 pounds per year in its animal health, biochemistry and metrology laboratories in Broomfield.

The decrease in energy usage from the labs, the organization reported, was the equivalent of a single passenger vehicle driving 328,000 miles.

“Increasing our awareness of the important role our laboratories play in environmental responsibility, from how much energy the lab equipment uses to the amount of plastic waste we generate each day, can be alarming — but it can also be motivating and empowering,” said Dacia Brunker, the on-site coordinator for the Green Lab Program. The department reports that it will next attempt to improve its cold storage management procedures.

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