Here’s How To Donate or Recycle Your Used Eclipse Glasses


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Did you catch the solar eclipse on April 8? If so, hopefully it was under the protection of those incredibly fashionable eclipse glasses. 

But now that it’s over, what are you supposed to do with said glasses? If you aren’t keeping them around as a timely memento, consider donating or recycling them through one of these resources.

Image Credit: eclipse glasses by Peter Corbett (CC BY).

Astronomers Without Borders

Here’s a cool organization: Astronomers Without Borders. Since 2008, AWB has made a mission out of providing glasses to people across the globe who don’t have a safe way to view annual and total solar eclipses. The organization has partnered with collection centers in Indiana, Ohio, and Vermont to make donating your used glasses an easy process. Check out a full list of collection centers here.

Image Credit: solar eclipse glasses by Germanna CC (CC BY).

Warby Parker

Astronomers Without Borders also partnered with the national eyewear retailer Warby Parker, so if you’re not in Ohio, Indiana, or Vermont, you’ve still got options. The retailer is accepting any gently used eclipse glasses until April 30. And while you’re there, you can actually try on some eyeglasses in person, rather than using Warby Parker’s weird, virtual try-on with your phone.

Image Credit: Warby Parker.

Eclipse Glasses USA

While the next total solar eclipse won’t occur until 2026, an annual “ring of fire” eclipse will pass over parts of Chile, Argentina, and the Pacific Ocean on October 2, 2024. Eclipse Glasses USA wants to make sure people there can see it. The organization is accepting gently used glasses for donation; just mail them to:

Eclipse Glasses USA, LLC
P.O. Box 50571, Provo, UT 84605

Image Credit: eclipse glasses by Ivtorov (CC BY-SA).

How To Recycle Your Eclipse Glasses

If you’re not donating your glasses, there’s the option to recycle at least part of them. Unfortunately, you can’t recycle the actual lenses — those will need to hit the trash. But the arms, which are made of cardboard, are OK for your recycling bin. 

Image Credit: solar eclipse glasses by Thomas Cizauskas (CC BY-NC-ND).

Can I Reuse My Glasses for the Next Eclipse?

That depends. If they’re in solid condition — meaning that the lenses aren’t scratched, chipped, or torn — reuse away! If the lenses are in any way damaged, or the cardboard arms are ripped and don’t easily stay on your ears, you should get rid of them. According to the American Astronomical Society, modern eclipse glasses do not expire, and can be reused indefinitely as long as they’re in good condition.

Image Credit: koyu / iStock.

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