The Environmental Cost of Physics Research

I burned out some diode lasers a while back, and needed to buy replacements. Here’s one of the replacements on top of the tube containing the other, with a US quarter for scale:


Here they are, with the box and packing material used to ship them to me:


I realize that this is probably due to somebody at the laser company deciding to save money by standardizing on a single size of shipping container. Still, this seems just a tiny bit excessive…