It was important to me to ensure The Biochemist dedicated an issue to what biochemistry can offer for sustainability and how the practice of biochemistry research and industry can be challenged to make itself more sustainable and conscious. There is still a long way to go and many challenges to be overcome in this journey, but I am pleased to share these different examples of how biochemistry is influencing this area (and how biochemists are being influenced to alter their own practices). The issue goes beyond looking inwardly at what biochemists need to change but also offers opportunities where biochemistry can help solve problems elsewhere, such as in the area of food sustainability.

I often felt helpless as my PhD experiments created what seemed to be huge amounts of plastic waste and I thought to myself that there must be another way of doing things. I know changing the culture of how work is done is a challenge and there are many, many steps to consider in this process. There is no doubt plastic offered a huge opportunity for those in the biological sciences sciences for research, but we have a gap in knowledge as to what the most useful and environmentally conscious materials might be. However, we are all scientists so we should be able to identify what the best material and waste management solution is for research and for society (balancing the needs and costs of waste, energy and practicality).

Since my PhD, I have taken steps in my own life to act in a way that is more sustainable but I no longer work in a lab, so my way of influencing that space is through my role here at The Biochemist.

Sometimes all it takes is someone posing a question to make you reconsider actions both at home and at work. So, I have a request: Now that The Biochemist is fully online there is more opportunity for our readers to share reactions to our articles, and I am particularly interested to hear your stories of how you are taking steps to be more sustainable in your research. Sharing these experiences will give others practical inspiration and knowledge they can take to their own area of practice - if something shared in this issue has made you reconsider or act differently it would be wonderful to hear about it. You can get in touch and share your own thoughts through Twitter @The_Biochemist.

On that note, we also welcome submissions from our community. If you are interested in submitting an article, we encourage you to get in touch with the Editorial Team. Our articles are now easier to access and share virtually, but if you think of something you would like to see from The Biochemist’s virtual presence that doesn’t exist yet, please do let us know.