Don't throw away your solar eclipse glasses! You can actually use them to help people

Don't just toss 'em – you can actually help people with them.

You dropped $30 on a pair of solar eclipse glasses so your retinas didn't burn.

And now you've got what seems like a useless pair of ultra-dark glasses sitting on your counter.

But don't throw them away – you can actually do some good and help people with them.

Astronomers Without Borders is asking people to hang on to the glasses so they can collect and donate them.

Who will get the specs? Students in South America and Asia – continents that will see a total solar eclipse in 2019.

“Many schools in developing countries don’t have resources for science education and this is a rare opportunity that inspires students and teachers and shows them that science is something they can do," Astronomers Without Borders President Mike Simmons told Gizmodo

The group is still getting the donation process sorted out, but promises details soon. If you want to take immediate action, you can mail your glasses to them:

Explore Scientific
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762

Or collect eclipse glasses from your friends/family/coworkers to become an official Astronomers Without Borders collection site.

Keep an eye on the group's Facebook page and website for more info.

What about recycling them?

If that seems like a hassle, you've got a few other options:

– Save them for the next solar eclipse you happen to be around for – though not if the lenses are messed up. As NASA puts it, if the glasses are ISO 12312-2 and "the filters aren't scratched, punctured, or torn, you may reuse them indefinitely." That's thinking ahead.

– Recycle them. Or at least the part that can be recycled. Earth911 says most cardboard glasses can be recycled – just make sure to pop the lenses out first. Those lenses probably will need to get trashed, but you could also call camera stores to ask if they can process the film. Plastic frames can't be recycled.

– Or get creative. Keep them as a souvenir or make some type of art – earrings are suggested in this story.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 12.27.04 PM

Man's vehicles crushed by hit-and-run driver weren't fully insured

The goal is to raise $25,000 to help the south Minneapolis resident.

Joe Biden

Key points from Joe Biden's first speech as POTUS

The 46th president called for unity at a time America is facing huge challenges.

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, January 20

The 111 ICU patients is the fewest in Minnesota since there were 109 COVID patients in intensive care on Oct. 1.


Here's what Amy Klobuchar said at Joe Biden's inauguration

The Minnesota senator was one of the leader organizers of the inauguration.

covid-19, vaccine

All of this week's COVID vaccine pilot program appointments are filled

Nearly 6,000 Minnesotans who are 65 and older registered for appointments between noon Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

Lane kueng thao chauvin

Osterholm affidavit ahead of George Floyd trial warns of COVID worsening in March

Prosecutors want to delay the Chauvin trial due to a public health threat.

WCCO-AM's Sheletta Brundidge talks with Lil Nas X

830-WCCO host calls for Dave Lee's replacement to be person of color

WCCO-AM has not had a person of color as a weekday daytime host in its history.

Screen Shot 2021-01-20 at 8.57.50 AM

Harmful grass fly larvae found in shipment to International Falls

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials safeguarded the shipment until the threat could be mitigated.

Keith Ellison

Minnesota high schoolers will be reimbursed for canceled European trips

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced a settlement with the travel company Friday.

Donald Trump

Trump pardons Minnesota man convicted on drug charge in 1992

John Harold Wall was among the 143 people granted clemency in one of Trump's final acts as president.


Find out what type of solar eclipse you'll see on Aug. 21

Some people will get the total eclipse experience. But not everyone.

Find out what type of solar eclipse you'll see on Aug. 21

Some people will get the total eclipse experience. But not everyone.

Don't get burned by bogus eclipse glasses

Some shady eyewear is masquerading as legit protection.

Delete your food photos from Instagram to help feed hungry Americans

Everyone's got Instagram food photos. Now you can use them to help people.

Video: How to make a DIY filter for your camera to film the solar eclipse

Solar filters are expensive – and most of them are sold out.

The heartwarming story behind the Prince Christmas lights show

The family behind that Prince Christmas lights show is hoping it'll help raise money for an organization that helped them when they needed it.