Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) is collecting eclipse-viewing glasses from across the U.S. to send to schools in South America and Asia for use during solar eclipses that cross those continents in 2019. AWB is a nonprofit charitable organization that connects people worldwide through innovative programs that are accessible to everyone regardless of geography and culture. Combining local events with online technology and a global community, AWB promotes understanding and peaceful international relations through astronomy outreach and education.
As a total eclipse of the Sun swept across the continental U.S. from coast to coast on August 21st for the first time in nearly a century, millions of eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers were used to safely witness this dramatic celestial event. Now AWB and its corporate partner Explore Scientific, have launched a nationwide grassroots initiative to collect gently used eclipse glasses to give them a second life before they are unnecessarily recycled or reach landfills.
Through the enthusiastic support of local libraries, schools, museums, city halls, police stations, commercial businesses, and community organizations, collection centers are quickly popping up from coast to coast to ensure that as many glasses as possible are recycled. Just two weeks after the eclipse, more than 800 collection centers are gathering glasses, and Explore Scientific’s warehouse has received well over 150,000 pairs of used and leftover new glasses. That number is rising by leaps and bounds, with people providing schools in developing countries the wonderful opportunity to safely experience a solar eclipse.
Collection centers are encouraged to register online on the AWB website. You can drop your own leftover eclipse glasses at any nearby collection center. Alternatively, pack them carefully so that they won't get scratched, torn, or punctured, and ship them to this address:
AWB Eclipse Glasses Donation Program
1010 S. 48th St.
Springdale, AR 72762
All donated eclipse glasses will be inspected to make sure they meet safety standards and are not damaged or counterfeit.
The glasses collection campaign comes on the heels of a highly successfully eclipse glasses distribution program made possible in large part by the generous donations of glasses from AWB partners Google and Big Kid Science (50,000 glasses each), with additional contributions from Celestron and the American Astronomical Society (3,200 glasses each).