What To Do With Your Solar Eclipse Glasses Now That It's Over

Aug 22, 2017

Don't know what to do with your solar eclipse glasses now that the event is over? Don't fret. You've got plenty of options.
Credit Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

Across the United States, millions got a near-once-in-a-lifetime chance to view a total solar eclipse Monday. In the weeks leading up to the event, lines of people looking to get special solar eclipse glasses stretched outside of shops. And even Amazon had to issue a recall for some glasses that weren't up to snuff.

But now that the eclipse is over, what should you do with your sweet shades?

Well, one option to consider is recycle them. As long as you pop out the lenses, you can happily throw your glasses frames in the recycling bin knowing that you aren't adding to environmental waste. Yay!

You also can recycle them in a different way: Astronomers Without Borders is planning to collaborate with corporate partners to redistribute solar eclipse glasses to schools in South America and Asia for future eclipses. Considering the next U.S. eclipse is in 2024, it's not a bad idea to pass on the gift of scientific and astronomical wonder to those who might not have the means otherwise.

Of course, the Great American Eclipse of 2017 was a huge deal, and some might feel some sentimental value toward their glasses. Or maybe you want to use them when the 2024 solar eclipse hits the U.S. Or maybe you're just a pack rat. 

If you're one of the above, there's good news: If your glasses are compliant with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard (which you should be able to check along the band of the glasses) then they should be good to use indefinitely. As long as they aren't scratched or punctured, you can save your eclipse glasses as a memento and then break them out in the future.

Whatever you decide to do with your glasses, just don't throw them in the trash. This world has enough waste in it already. Be an everyday hero.

Cody Newill is the digital editor for KCUR 89.3. Follow him on Twitter @CodyNewill.