The eclipse may be over for those of us in the United States, but on July 2, 2019, there will be a solar eclipse visible in Asia and South America where many people don’t have the resources to get special glasses to see the phenomenon. Astronomers Without Borders is soon announcing a collection program that will accept all eclipse glasses donated to distribute to schools in these developing areas. While the organization usually raises money to buy materials for astronomy education around the world, they’re hoping this program will build up stock so they can focus on purchasing other educational tools.
Donations are not open quite yet, but if you’re eager to donate them immediately, you can send them to the group’s corporate sponsor, Explore Scientific at 621 Madison Street, Springdale, Arkansas.
Here are some other options for using old eclipse glasses:
- Save them to view future eclipses (next date: April 8, 2024). They can be used indefinitely as long as they are not damaged and are ISO 12312-2 certified, says NASA.
- Recycle them: Pop out the lenses and toss them, recycle paper frames with other paper and cardboard products, and toss any plastic frames (they likely aren’t recyclable). (Tip: Call your local camera store that processes film to see if they recycle solar-filter lenses.)
- Upcycle them: Get inspired and do some DIY crafts.
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Manon Blackman is a Make It Better intern and rising senior at Northwestern University, pursuing a dual-degree in journalism and vocal performance. When she’s not in class, you can find her running, experimenting with vegan cooking, and drinking lots of coffee.