Remember styrofoam? The light & awful material that helps you with cold shipping?
There are 4 key reasons why styrofoam is a no-go:
1️. It´s made of petroleum and is thus based on fossil fuels
2️. The production of styrofoam releases toxic gasses and results in toxic solid and liquid waste
3️. It isn´t biodegradable, so when it ends up in the environment, it stays in the environment!
4️. Although styrofoam is in principle recyclable, most styrofoam isn't actually recycled
This is why companies such as NEB and ThermoFischer Scientific have developed cardboard-based cold shipping alternatives to styrofoam!
You are probably reusing styrofoam boxes from your suppliers when you are doing cold shipping -- and here's a tip for that:
WHEN RECEIVING STYROFOAM BOXES IN THE LAB, KEEP A FEW DIFFERENT-SIZED ONES FOR YOUR OWN COLD SHIPPING!
This way, you can find a suitable (as in: not oversized) box when you are sending samples or reagents somewhere. This helps reduce carbon emissions from shipping!
And if you are in your communicative corner, you can reach out to your suppliers and ask them about their styrofoam policy.
Manufacturers and suppliers are much more likely to go green if they know that their customers care about sustainability!