Americans sure do love their eyewear. The average American is estimated to have more than three pairs of eyewear, including prescription lenses, sunglasses, and blue light-blocking glasses in high demand due to increased screen time. Moreover, people tend to upgrade their specs every two years on average, meaning millions of specs go unused and hidden away in drawers, bags, and even under car seats.
This is an unfortunate reality that adds to the waste in our landfills. Many perfectly good pairs of glasses are discarded every year, and if there’s one thing that landfills don’t need, it’s more stuff. So what can you do with all your outdated, outgrown, and unwanted eyewear? Here are some great ideas:
1. Put new lenses in
If your prescription has changed, but your frames are still in perfect condition, you can consider reglazing. Reglazing is the name for the process of replacing the lenses in your current frames. This option works best for people with a set of good frames holding old or damaged lenses. You can save a lot more by replacing your lenses versus buying a brand new pair of glasses.
2. Give them to family or friends
You may have a pair of glasses that no longer match your style or prescription. You can lend or give them to family or friends instead. There’s a very little chance that you will have the same prescription as your friend or sibling, so they can take your frames and go through the reglazing process we mentioned earlier. Either way, they’ll have a new pair of glasses that are still in great condition!
3. Donate your glasses
If you don’t have any use for your glasses anymore and nobody to give them to, the next best thing would be donating them. According to the World Health Organization, there are at least one billion people out there in the world who have vision impairment problems yet to be addressed. You can ask vision centers if they are taking donations, but you can also take your frames to many Goodwill organizations. Be sure you are donating something that someone can still wear; otherwise, your glasses will just be thrown out.
4. Send your frames in for repair
Broken glasses can be given or thrown away, but have you considered bringing them in for repair? There should be eyeglasses repair shops near you that can fix a broken temple arm or cracked frame. Another option is to drop off or mail your glasses to something like the All-American Eyeglass Repair Shop, which will fix your specs and mail them back to you.
5. Sell your glasses
If you no longer have use for a good pair of glasses, then selling them is also an option. You can sell them online on platforms such as Mercari or eBay, where people buy and sell secondhand items. You can also sell your old eyeglasses on websites like webuyframes.com.
The bottom line
As you can see, there are many uses for your outdated or unused glasses. They can always be made into unique accessories or given to someone in need. Glasses don't always have to be thrown away; instead, follow our tips above to give them a second chance.