Don’t throw away those eclipse glasses, they may still do some good

Posted at 4:07 PM, Aug 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-22 16:07:26-04

On the morning after the Great American Eclipse, many may be wondering what to do with those eclipse glasses that were so highly coveted on Monday, but now won’t be useful for years.

If you haven’t already thrown them in the trash, here are a few things to note for those who would like to donate, reuse or recycle them.

NASA says that if your glasses are compliant with the ISO 12312-2 safety standard, and it will say so on the frame, you can use them for the next eclipse that covers part of the U.S. in 2024.  Just make sure that the filters or lenses aren’t scratched, punctured or torn.

NASA says that some glasses are printed with warnings that you shouldn’t look through them for more than three minutes at a time and that they should be discarded after three years. NASA says those warnings are outdated and as long as they are compliant with the ISO 12312-2 standard, they are fine.

Now, if you don’t think you’ll want to keep the glasses around for seven years, or that you’ll be able to find them, there are a few things you can do with them.  First, you can donate them to Astronomers Without Borders , a group that helps astronomers in other parts of the world.

The next eclipses will be in South America in 2019 and 2020.  On their site, they ask that you don’t just send them your glasses right now, but they’ll be coordinating larger collection efforts soon. More information about the program, and the best place to send the glasses, will be announced soon, the organization posted on Facebook.

Or, you can recycle them – at least the cardboard. Take the lenses out first and just throw them away.

And some entrepreneurs are still cashing in on the eclipse by selling them on Craigslist, as “gently-used” or as collectible items used in an historic event.