Now that the excitement is over, don’t toss your eclipse glasses just yet. Here are some ways to give them a second life and keep them out of the landfills.
1. Use them as DIY camera filters
Many people placed their glasses over their phone or camera lens to get a photo of the eclipse. Even without the moon covering the sun, this is still a cool trick for taking interesting photos.
Cut the glasses in two, at the nose bridge. Then, use the ear piece to hold the eyepiece in front of your camera lens. Try layering the eclipse glasses filters with other photography filters to get unusual effects.
2. Save them for the next eclipse
While the Great American Eclipse is over, there are plenty more to come. Why not just save your glasses for the next one? If they aren’t damaged and meet ISO 12312-2 safety standards they can be used over and over again, according to NASA.
The next eclipse is July 2, 2019. It’s in South America, so you may need to travel. To learn more about upcoming eclipses, go.
3. Donate them
Not planning on going to another eclipse? Then donate your glasses. If your local school isn’t interested, Astronomers Without Borders is taking glasses and sending them to various countries where there’ll be future eclipses. Here’s more information about donations.
4. Toss them in the recycling bin
If all else fails, you can simply recycle your cardboard eclipse glasses. Just tear out the lenses and throw the frames in the recycling bin.
What about the lenses? Some photography shops will recycle the lenses for you, so give your local shop a call.