Anyone who has processed samples with our Blue Water Task Force knows just how much equipment is used in each sampling run. We in Eastern Long Island, like many Surfrider Chapters around the country, are making efforts to reduce our plastic waste while sampling water quality.
At the lab we share with the Concerned Citizens of Montauk, we purchased an autoclave. The autoclave allows us to sanitize and re-use glass bottles and pipettes after each lab processing, reducing our plastic usage.
The approximate cost for purchasing an autoclave and reusable glassware is $4500. However, don’t let that number scare you. Although glassware is initially more expensive than plastic supplies, it is well worth the investment if your chapter has an established testing program, enough funds and space to set-up an autoclave (or one you can borrow). There are often local grant opportunities from foundations that like to assist with capital costs. It is easy to describe exactly what it is a funder’s money will go toward. Contact your regional staff or Colleen Henn, chenn@surfrider.org for ideas on where to look for funding assistance.
Once you’ve purchased your autoclave and associated material, view the tutorial videos below to learn how to set up and use your autoclave.

Tutorial Videos:

How to Set Up Your Autoclave

How to Use Your Autoclave

Please join the Eastern Long Island Chapter in making strides to reduce our plastic footprint, in and out of the lab.