GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – It is the “morning after” the Great American Eclipse and you may be wondering what to do with those stylish $2.00 glasses that you picked up at Walmart, if you haven’t tossed them away already.
NASA says that if your glasses are compliant with the ISO 12312-2 safety standard, and it will say so on the frame, you can use them for the next eclipse that covers part of the U.S. in 2024. Just make sure that the filters or lenses aren’t scratched, punctured or torn.
NASA says that some glasses are printed with warnings that you shouldn’t look through them for more than three minutes at a time and that they should be discarded after three years. NASA says those warnings are outdated and as long as they are compliant with the ISO 12312-2 standard, they are fine.
Now, if you don’t think you’ll want to keep the glasses around for seven years, or that you’ll be able to find them, there are a few things you can do with them that are helpful. First, you can donate them to Astronomers Without Borders , a group that helps astronomers in other parts of the world. The next eclipses will be in South America in 2019 and 2020. On their site, they ask that you don’t just send them your glasses right now, but they’ll be coordinating larger collection efforts soon.
Or, you can recycle them…at least the cardboard. Take the lenses out first and just throw them away.
And some entrepreneurs are still cashing in on the eclipse by selling them on Craigslist, as “gently-used” or as collectible items used in an historic event.