Cold Rooms Count
Last month we posted about the importance of considering cold rooms as part of the Freezer Challenge. Guy Grant from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign heard our message. He is pictured here decommissioning a cold room as part of the Freezer Challenge. Because of this action, the lab now has extra space and has earned extra points in the Challenge.
This week take a moment to consider whether you need all of the samples being stored in your cold rooms... or whether you still need your cold room at all. If, like Guy, you find yourself going above and beyond what we have listed on the score sheet, be sure to include your actions in the Additional Information section.
Freezer Challenge Deadline Extended: May 15th
In honor of Earth Month we're extending the Freezer Challenge deadline to May 15th! With this extra time we hope you'll try to complete one more action on the score sheet to conserve even more resources.
Last year the Freezer Challenge saved ~1.6 million kWh - let's see if we can make that 2.5 million this year!
Is there evidence that samples are safe at -70C?
Spoiler alert - YES! If you've been following My Green Lab, you know that we coined the phrase '-70 is the new -80'. Adjusting your ultra low temperature freezer set point to -70C can reduce energy consumption by 30-40% and prolong the lifetime of a compressor-based freezer. For years we've been directing people to check out the incredible crowd-sourced document, that Dr. Kathy Ramirez-Aguilar at CU Boulder put together, of samples that have been stored at -70C. And now, thanks to our collaboration with the European organization EGNATON on the Freezer Challenge, we have been made aware of these two publications, which show sample stability at -70C for yeasts and molds, and the enzyme PON1. Furthermore, suppliers such as GE and Qiagen have updated their storage recommendations to -70C for certain reagents as well.
The community is still working on obtaining evidence for a wide range of samples, but it's clear the evidence is mounting in favor of safe, sustainable sample storage at -70C.
If you choose to set your ULT freezer to -70C as part of the Freezer Challenge be sure to add your name and your samples to the Google doc! We would also be happy to add them for you - just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.