The eclipse now over, here’s what to do with those glasses

Glasses being collected locally for ‘Astronomers Without Borders’

Jason Brill holds a box of used eclipse glasses to be donated to Astronomers Without Borders at the Saranac Lake Free Library, one of many locations around town where the glasses can be recycled. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Marbone)

With the total solar eclipse now passed, the Tri-Lakes are flush with eclipse glasses. The rare phenomenon is not scheduled to return to the area for quite some time, so several organizations in the area are collecting the eyewear to recycle them.

Most are partnering with the group Astronomers Without Borders, which distributes second-hand eclipse glasses to third-world nations preparing to experience the stunning event.

Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism Communications Manager Jane Hooper said The Wild Center nature museum in Tupper Lake spearheaded the effort to put collection bins around the Tri-Lakes and ROOST will store them until AWB needs them.

Saranac Lake Free Library employee Peggy Orman said the library will be accepting glasses donations until 6 p.m. today. She’ll drive them down to an Astronomers Without Borders warehouse in Albany on Thursday to “pay it forward.”

Historic Saranac Lake archivist Chessie Monks-Kelly said the museum will be collecting the glasses for Astronomers without Borders indefinitely. The museum will be closed next week for spring cleaning, but otherwise, it is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A local woman asked about recycling eclipse glasses on the “Saranac Lake Neighbor Helping Neighbor” Facebook group last week. This got Orman and Monks-Kelly looking into ways to donate them.

Orman said the SLFL did this back in 2017 when a partial solar eclipse could be viewed from here.

She said some people keep them as memorabilia, others say “they’ve served their purpose.” SLFL and HSL have a couple of boxes filled already.

The eclipse glasses do “expire” at some point, after a few years.

Monks-Kelly said they’ll also be inspecting each pair to make sure they are safe and fit to donate.

To save them some time, check structure and integrity of the lenses, as well as the frame, before donating.

“It’s not complicated,” Monks-Kelly said of the inspection.

The organization Eclipse Glasses USA is also collecting used glasses for an Oct. 2 annular solar eclipse which will pass over parts of Chile and Argentina.

To ship glasses for this event by Aug. 1, mail them to Eclipse Glasses USA, LLC, P.O. Box 50571, Provo, Utah 84605. More details can be found at tinyurl.com/4t36t7ex.

Saranac Lake

¯ Hotel Saranac

¯ Harrietstown Town Hall

¯ Saranac Lake Free Library

¯ Historic Saranac Lake

Tupper Lake

¯ Wild Center

¯ Tupper Lake ROOST information center

Lake Placid area

¯ Lake Placid ROOST information center

¯ The Whiteface Visitor’s Bureau in Wilmington

Greater Adirondacks

¯ Newcomb ROOST information center

¯ Lake Champlain Visitor’s Bureau


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