What to do with your safety glasses now that the solar eclipse is over

It was quite a sight — the partial solar eclipse in the D.C. area — and so many spectators wore cardboard and plastic eclipse glasses to safely view it Monday.

A day after the moon covered approximately 89% of the sun in the D.C. region, onlookers are done taking selfies and the question is: what to do with all these eclipse glasses?

They don’t expire, according to the American Astronomical Society, so hold onto them if you plan to travel to view eclipses in future.

Or, there are at least a couple ways to recycle ISO-certified solar eclipse glasses.

Astronomers Without Borders has been collecting eclipse glasses since 2008.

The group reconditions them and sends the glasses to people in need so they can safely view annular and solar eclipses. After the 2017 solar eclipse, tens of thousands of glasses donated by viewers in the U.S. were sent to South America, Asia, Africa and South America, according to the organization.

This year, used but undamaged glasses can be dropped off at any Warby Parker retail store. The eyeglass company’s website lists 17 locations in and around D.C.

Eclipse Glasses USA makes many of the cardboard glasses — they’re accepting donations of gently-used glasses, not torn or punctured, by mail, as part of the Eclipse Glasses Give-Back Program.

“We are collecting used but undamaged eclipse glasses to send to schools in Latin America so school-aged children can view the October 2024 annular eclipse,” according to the Eclipse Glasses USA website.

The glasses should be mailed by Aug. 1, 2024, to:
Eclipse Glasses USA, P.O. Box 50571, Provo, Utah 84605

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Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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