Participate in UCSC’s Green Labs Freezer Challenge Today!

The Laboratory Freezer Challenge utilizes friendly competition to optimize sustainability of freezer management in laboratories. Any type of laboratory is eligible to participate. The Freezer Challenge occurs over a five-month period where individual labs and institutions work at their own pace to implement optimal cold storage management practices. Scorecards are submitted to the Freezer Challenge where laboratory institutions are scored and ranked against peer institutions. 

The UCSC lab with the most points will win a pizza party and eco-swag! Additional awards will be given to the national leaders! 

Are you up for the challenge?  If your lab uses ultra-ultra low temperature freezers (-150C), ultra-low temperature freezers (-80C), lab freezers (-40C to -20C), refrigerators, or cold rooms, you can earn points simply by taking the actions listed below.  Earn 1 point for each action taken per refrigeration unit.

  • Good Management Practices
    • Defrosting freezers
    • Cleaning out freezers and refrigerators
    • Inventorying samples
    • Storing samples at high density
  • Temperature Tuning
    • Adjusting the set point of ultra-low temperature freezers 
    • Storing samples at appropriate temperatures
  • Retirements & Upgrades
    • Retiring old refrigeration units
    • Replacing older refrigeration units with energy-efficient units
  • Cutting-Edge Practices
    • Sharing refrigeration space with a colleague
    • Barcoding samples
    • Trying/adopting room-temperature sample storage

Labs will also earn points for sharing information about their own best practices regarding sample storage and inventory.

What are the benefits of participating in the Freezer Challenge?

Freezer Challenge participants will benefit from:

  • Reducing energy consumption, costs, and environmental impact of the lab
  • Learning and applying proper cold storage maintenance techniques to help avoid future failures
  • Removal of unneeded or unviable samples from cold storage units, allowing space to be consolidated or eliminated.
  • Reduced costs associated with maintaining extraneous cold storage units.
  • Improved researcher access to and security for viable samples.
  • Development of ongoing cold storage management practices that support efficiency and maximize lab space utility.
  • Participation recognition and awards and prizes

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