What to do with old glasses?

What to do with old glasses?

We all love eyeglasses, whether as a fashion accessory or as a prescription to improve our eyesight. One way or another, the average American has one or more pair of eyeglasses. But what happens when these eyeglasses become old, or you tire of them, and wish to move on to new pairs? Sure, you can just dispose of them, but in this article, we give you creative takes on what to do with old glasses. You don’t need to dispose of your old glasses when there are more impactful ways to get rid of them, so read on for more.

Donate your old glasses to Charity houses

Donating all your old glasses to a charity organization is a good move to declutter while still helping other people improve their eyesight. Most times, these charity houses are usually non-profit organizations that decide to pick up the responsibility of helping the Needy and less privileged. You are indirectly making eye care services available to people who cannot afford them.

For example, when you donate a pair of glasses to the less privileged, you are indirectly helping children to see the chalkboard clearly in school. This will help the child improve their academic performance and opportunities for success in life. The same goes for an adult. You help them improve their poor vision so that they can perform daily tasks with greater independence and confidence.

There are various charity organizations and groups that are open to this old glasses donation. Some commonly known charities that are open to this donation are Lions Clubs International, OneSight, and New Eyes for the Needy. 

There are also various local optometry practices and community centers in your local community. You can search for them online to get access to them. These organizations work by collecting all the donated glasses and distributing them to people who cannot afford a new one.

Now, here is how it works. Once these charity organizations collect these old glasses, they carefully sort them and categorize them based on different factors. Some of these factors include prescription strength and frame style. Afterward, they invite trained volunteers or technicians to clean and refurbish the glasses. This helps to make the glasses look brand new. Nobody would love to get dirty-looking or rugged eyeglasses from any charity house. 

This process of cleaning these glasses varies from replacing any form of scratched lenses to tightening up any loose screws on the frames of the glasses. It also involves adjusting frames to fit any face properly. Once they are done revamping these glasses, they are then ready to be distributed to people who direly need these glasses. 

A lot goes into distributing these glasses as well. The charity organization needs to figure out people who need this service. However, it will be distributed depending on the organization and the needs of the local community. 

There are different available options. They can either send these donated glasses to schools, clinics, or community centers. Alternatively, mobile clinics or vision care missions can be organized. They will then conduct a series of eye tests for people and then distribute these prescription glasses directly to underserved communities.

Repurpose your old glasses for Arts or Crafts purposes

Repurpose your old glasses for Arts or Crafts purposes


If you are a book chic, or you love artwork, then this is another opportunity to put your artistic flair to use. You can repurpose your old glasses for art or crafts. It is a fun and creative way to give those old glasses a new life. Here are some artistic crafts to try out with your old glasses.

Stage production and art project

You will be surprised at how ordinary fashion items are transformed into extraordinary artistic fashion items on a theater stage. If you don't know how to go about this, you can Look around for a theater student or an art student writing an art project and hand over your old glasses to them. You will be surprised at the magic they can transform your glasses into. 

Some art projects involve students preparing for fashion runaways and fashion shows. Eyeglasses are one of the fashion items that could be needed for this. Instead of going through the pains of getting new eyeglasses. Your old glasses would go a long way for them and it will also help them save money. 

A theater student might decide to glue different colors and sizes of beads on the frame of your old glasses to match their desired theme. They could even wrap fabrics or other materials around it to achieve something artistic for their project. But whatever their output is, the new outlook of your old glasses will definitely wow you. 

DIY artworks

Another artistic way to repurpose your old glasses is by making various household items using a DIY process that wouldn't take much of your time. Some of the home materials you can get from this include picture frames, planters, jewelry holders, bookends, and wall art. 

If you have more than one old pair of glasses you are trying to work with, all you need to do is arrange all the old glasses in interesting patterns or shapes based on your choice and preference. Afterward, mount them on a backing board or any solid platform and hang them on your wall to create eye-catching wall art. You can mix and play around with frames of different sizes, colors, and styles to get various beautiful and personalized effects.

Another DIY process is a jewelry holder. To achieve this, you have to first remove the lenses from the eyeglass frames and ensure you clean the frames thoroughly. Afterward, Attach small hooks or wires to the frame. You can achieve this by using strong adhesive, glue, or even screws if they aren't sticking well. Once this is set, you can now use this to hang and safeguard your jewelry. You can Hang your earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry from the hooks or wires.

Be creative with your old glasses by thinking of other DIY projects you can achieve with them. You can also browse online to see several other DIY projects you can do with your old glasses, or ask your artistic friends around you. 

Trade in programs

A Trade-in program is also a wonderful opportunity for you to give out your old glasses to people who need them. Only this time around, you will not be giving it out for free. 

Most times, Eyewear retailers and manufacturers usually host and anchor offers trade-in programs. During this program, customers bring their old glasses, and in exchange, they get a discount on the new pair of glasses they are getting for themselves. In some other cases, customers can donate their old glasses to charity in exchange for other eye treatment packages aside from glasses. The principal aim of these trade-in programs is to encourage people with prescribed glasses to upgrade their eyewear while also providing support to those in need at the same time. 

There are many benefits you can get from opting for trade-in programs. The first benefit is that you enjoy discounts while you also get the chance to upgrade your glasses. When you trade your old prescription glasses, you then get a discount on the purchase of the new eyeglasses you are getting. This means you can offset the money you would use to upgrade your eyewear, making it more affordable for you to buy the latest styles or prescription lenses. This is a good way to reduce costs. 

Aside from getting a discount, this is another opportunity to get through to charity organizations as Some of these trade-in programs allow their customers to donate their old glasses to charity instead of receiving a discount on the purchase of new eyeglasses. This will give you ample opportunity to give back to your community. It is also a way to reach out to less privileged who need eye care services. 

Recycle your old glasses

Recycle your old glasses


Recycling your old glasses is another tangible way to do away with your old glasses. By doing this, you are giving your glasses a new purpose and reducing waste at the same time. If you are confused about how to go about this, we have some suggestions for you. 

First, you can visit an eyewear retailer. Most eyewear retailers would accept old glasses from you for recycling. You can connect with them physically at their stores to know more about the terms and conditions surrounding it. Some of them have designated recycling bins mainly for this purpose. Feel free to drop your old glasses inside these bins. 

Another way of recycling your glasses is meeting charity houses who are open to this idea. For example, you can visit any office of the Lions Club internationally. Aside from that they collect old glasses and distribute them to the Needy, they also collect gold glasses for recycling. Other times, they refurbish and revamp these glasses into a different look before distributing them internationally and locally to those who need them.

If you cannot find any of these options above, you can search around for any recycling center in your local community. Some of these recycling centers accept these old glasses for metal or electronic recycling procedures. Check around or ask people so you will learn about the centers that would old glasses. And also to learn how you will properly dispose of them. 

The process of recycling is easy. First, they will collect old glasses from their designated drop-off location. Afterward, they sort these glasses based on factors like frame material, lens type, and condition. The next step is to check for glasses that can be cleaned for reuse. For some of These glasses, you might just need to replace scratched lenses, tighten loose screws, or just adjust frames to fit properly. For glasses that are completely damaged and cannot be reused, they are sent to recycling centers where the glasses are broken down into different compartments. These broken-down parts are then recycled to other products. For example, metal frames can be recycled into a new metal product.

Old glasses for vision screening and testing

Another way to handle your old glasses is by donating them to eye clinics. These eye clinics would then use them for vision screening and testing. Vision screening and testing are done when a person goes for an eye test. It is used to know the state of a person's eyes and also identify if there are any issues with a person's eyes. What happens during a vision screen is that the individuals involved are asked to read out different letters, numbers, and symbols on a chart, in different sizes and from specified distances. This is where your old glasses come in handy. Your old glasses can be used as testers to check people's prescriptions. It helps to provide clarity on whether they need eyeglasses prescription like your old glasses, or if they need a new prescription.


What to do with old glasses?


There are many ways to dispose of your eyeglasses that offer meaningful solutions to their disposal. Whether through organizations that refurbish glasses for those in need or local donation centers, giving old eyeglasses a new purpose can improve someone's quality of life. Also, recycling eyeglass frames and lenses reduces waste and supports sustainable practices. By taking the initiative to dispose of old eyeglasses responsibly, you not only declutter your home but also contribute to a more fair and environmentally conscious society. Embracing these actions fosters positive change, ensuring that old eyeglasses continue to serve a valuable purpose beyond their initial use.

Reading next

What Are Trifocal Glasses? Clear Vision At Every Distance
How long do I need to wear dark glasses outside after cataract surgery?

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.