What To Do With Your Solar Eclipse Glasses After The Eclipse Is Over, Because There Are Other Uses
Demand for them may have been through the roof, like, yesterday, but now that The Great American Solar Eclipse has come and gone, your eclipse glasses are not so necessary. So what can you do with your solar eclipse glasses now that the eclipse has come and gone? Oh, they've got a few additional uses apart from keeping your vision intact.
It's taken nearly a century for a total solar eclipse to be visible from coast to coast in the United States and folks have been prepping for months, if not years. Over 7,000 libraries nationwide handed out 2 million pairs of eclipse glasses. NASA distributed an additional 1 million. And that's not even taking into account the various branded specs that top viewing spots provided or the side hustles being sold through digital marketplaces like Amazon.
So why the fuss about eclipse glasses? Well, for starters, they keep you from going blind.
A total solar eclipse, which occurs when the moon moves directly in between the earth and the sun, doesn't have magical eye cooking abilities. It does, however, alter our perception of UV rays. On an average day, it's not suggested that you gaze into the fiery heart of the sun, but it's also difficult. Your eyes burn and water, defense mechanisms again retinal damage. But when the sun is obscured, we think we can stare directly at for longer without any of those pesky side effects.
...LOL, do not be fooled, those UV rays were still very much out and about. Thank goodness for the glasses. Not ready to just toss 'em? Here are a few more ideas.
Donate Them To Students in Need
Astronomers Without Borders has begun running a collection drive for students throughout America and Asia, so they can catch their own glimpse of the solar eclipse that will roll through their skies in 2019.
More than 2 million glasses were handed out across 7,000 libraries, courtesy of the Space Science Institute. A great way to guarantee future generations can continue to watch solar eclipses? Treating the earth with kindness. Just be sure to remove the solar lenses before tossing your glasses in the recycling bin. Some camera stores will recycle the solar lenses, so if you're really committed, make a few calls.
Or Save 'Em For That 2024 American Solar Eclipse
But be sure to check for the expiration date (most expire within three years, according to Staten Island Live).
You Can Always Get Crafty
Total solar eclipses are incredibly rare - like, it took almost a century for one to be seen coast-to-coast in the United States. Frame your glasses or add them to an eclectic display in your apartment. This isn't an event you'll want to forget anytime soon.
Or Turn Them Into A Fun Accessory
Pop the lenses out and make a pair of trippy earrings. Remove your glasses' arms, thread a chain through either side of the lenses and make a necklace that can double as emergency solar eclipse protection. Or if your glasses have a particularly ~cool~ print, turn them into a bracelet (just be careful about water - they are mostly cardboard, after all).