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What Should I Do With My Old Eyeglasses?

Well, spring is finally here! It won’t be long now and the flowers will be in bloom and the birds will be singing outside. It’s been a long winter for us here in Calgary. I personally feel like we had so much snow this winter. So much, that we should be spared from having any snow for the next few winters! And even though it is now officially spring, there’s still so much of the white stuff around. It’s for this reason that I find March to be a good month to start spring cleaning. It’s the perfect time to freshen up the home ahead of the nice weather. And if during your spring cleaning travels you should happen to find any unused old eyeglasses and are wondering what to do with them? Look no further! Read our blog article this week for some answer on what to do with old eyeglasses!

I feel like we live in a society where so much is wasted and thrown in the trash. So unless you plan on hanging onto your old outdated glasses until they come back in style, don’t be so quick to toss them out! I have listed some solutions for your old eyewear that will prevent them from hitting the landfill.

Keep a Spare Pair

Many people are quick to trash their old eyeglasses as soon as they get their new pair. But don’t be so quick to throw away your old specs. Having been in the optical industry for over 20 years now, I have seen my fair share of patients in a pickle because they have lost or broke their only pair of glasses. Although many eyeglass prescriptions can be cut into new glasses in less than an hour, there are many eyeglass lens prescriptions and lens designs that need much longer to be manufactured. It is especially important to have a backup pair of eyeglasses accessible if you really depend on them to function.

Recycle Old Eyeglasses By Donating To Eyeglass Charities

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase that one person’s trash is another one’s treasure. Well, here’s my optical spin on that philosophy… “One person’s old eyeglasses can be another person’s new eyeglasses!” It is a sad reality that so many people who live in developing countries around the world don’t have access to vision care. One site I came across states that this year, in North America 4 million old pairs of eyewear will be thrown out while 153 million people globally suffer from having uncorrected vision! That is a lot of people in need!

While on a vision mission to Guatemala in 2008, I personally got to see the impact of donated eyewear given to people in need! So even though you may think that your old specs may be out of style or out of date, there is somebody somewhere whose life could change for the better if you donate them!

Our office is a drop off site for the Canadian Lions Eyeglass Recycling Program. We gladly take old unused eyeglasses for donation!

Upcycle And Repurpose Old Eyeglasses

Okay, anyone who isn’t a DIY-er or who is not a crafter, you can stop reading here! I’ve perused the big world wide web and have found some clever ways to craft and repurpose old eyeglasses. Here are a few of my favorite ideas

Eyeglass Desk Calendar

How cute would an old eyeglass desk calendar be for a scholarly space, such as an office or classroom? We found this image here. The website itself doesn’t really explain how to make this project, however, it looks very simple. Just pop out the old lenses. Trace and cut out 12 shapes of the left lens on a firm cardstock paper and write out the 12 months.Trace and cut out 31 shapes of the right lens on a firm cardstock paper and write out the number 1-31 for the days. Punch holes in the tops of all the shapes. Secure the months to the left lens opening with zip-tie, ribbon or string. Repeat punching holes and securing cutout days to right lens. Presto! You have a cute eyeglass desk calendar!

Eyeglass Photo Frame

Another option for up-cycling old eyewear is to cut out pictures and put them in place of old lenses. This is a cute option for a little photo frame.

If you feel like you are needing to update your eyewear, you can call our office at (403)255-2826 to book an eye exam. For your convenience, you can also book your appointment online.

Article written by Trina Vanaalst, Licensed Optician & Contact Lens Practitioner

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