What do I do with my eclipse glasses?

Those solar filters will work forever if you treat them right—or you can donate them to astronomy enthusiasts around the world


On April 8, the millions of people in the path of totality saw a solar eclipse darken the sky in a rare, awe-inspiring event. Hopefully, those who snuck a glimpse were donning a pair of eclipse glasses to prevent potentially irreversible eye damage—which can happen with just a few seconds of unprotected eye contact when the sun’s in eclipse mode. 

The next total solar eclipse won’t touch North American skies until 2044—and even then, it’ll only be visible in Montana and the Dakotas. Unless you’re planning on flying to Europe to view the next eclipse in 2026, those glasses might just end up in a drawer for a while. Or, worse, in the trash. But, there are options beyond the bin if you don’t think another eclipse viewing is in your immediate future.

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Save ‘em

Nothing’s quite the same as a total solar eclipse, but even if Monday’s event didn’t convert you into an international eclipse chaser you might still need sun protection in the future. Peering up at a partial eclipse requires solar filters. The next partial eclipse will pass over the U.S. in 2026. If the lenses in your eclipse glasses meet the ISO 12312-2 safety standard and don’t get scratched, torn, punctured, or removed from their frames, they can be reused time and time again. 

Donate ’em

To protect the eyes of future eclipse-viewers, you can shuffle down to a Warby Parker store until April 30 to donate your eclipse glasses to Astronomers Without Borders (AWB). This organization helped provide millions of glasses from the 2017 eclipse to other enthusiastic nature fans across South America, Asia, and Africa. “This one-of-a-kind program helps to bring eclipse glasses to people who may not otherwise have a safe way to view the eclipse directly,” AWB officials said in a statement. Other groups, such as Eclipse Glasses USA, allow you to ship them leftover glasses for reuse as well.  

Recycle ’em

If the lenses on your glasses aren’t in good shape, there may be no saving them. The cardboard portion of your glasses is entirely recyclable: just pop out the lenses and toss the frames in your paper recycling bin. The lenses, unfortunately, aren’t recyclable, so keep them out of the plastic recycling pile to avoid contaminating the batch.