Here’s Where You Can Donate Your Solar Eclipse Glasses

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So you bought solar eclipse glasses – now what do you do with them? We’ve got the details!

solar eclipse glaseses

The 2024 solar eclipse has passed, and if you bought or scored solar eclipse glasses for free, you may be wondering what to do with them now. The next total solar eclipse won’t happen within bordering states until 2044, and it’s recommended that you don’t use solar eclipse glasses that are more than three years old.

The non-profit Astronomers Without Borders is collecting glasses to send around the world for people to use during upcoming solar eclipse events. Head into your local Warby Parker to donate your glasses, or if you live in Indiana, Ohio, or Vermont, there are additional donation spots. Or, you can send your glasses to Eclipse Glasses, USA and they will send them to school-aged children in Latin America for the October 2024 viewing of their total solar eclipse.

hand holding envelope with address and stamp on it with eclipse glasses in background on a table

You may also want to check with local businesses, as we’ve spotted a few offering discounts in exchange for your unneeded glasses.

What is a solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between our planet and the Sun, blocking the view of the Sun from Earth. The natural phenomenon is (no pun intended) a sight to see, and lasted for about 2.5 hours, with the peak being about an hour after you first are able to observe it.

When was the 2024 solar eclipse?

On Monday, April 8th, a total solar eclipse was seen across Mexico, Canada, and the United States.

The eclipse was first seen about 11:07 PDT on Mexico’s Pacific coast before becoming visible in the United States starting around 1:30 CDT in South Texas. The eclipse passed over thirteen states including Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Visit NASA’s website to view the full path of the eclipse and the exact times it was visible in certain U.S. locations.

How did the 2024 solar eclipse look in your city?

Enter your zip code here and you’ll be able to see a recreation of the eclipse from your city! How cool!

What happens if you look at a solar eclipse?

Except for the short period when the moon is completely blocking the sun, the sun may be visible. This means you will need special glasses to view the eclipse to prevent damage like retinal burns and loss of central vision. It’s important to note that you also cannot look at the eclipse through a camera without using a special lens.

Read on to see where you may be able to snag free glasses, and where to buy the solar eclipse glasses you’ll need to wear to view an event safely.

You may be wondering, “Can I use polarized glasses for a solar eclipse?”

NO! To be safe, we suggest you obtain specialized solar eclipse glasses instead. These glasses are WAY darker than regular sunglasses and they follow the ISO 12312-2 international standard. You can buy these special solar glasses from the American Astronomical Society’s list of approved suppliers.

womans hand holding 2 pair of eclipse viewing glasses

These ISO-certified solar eclipse glasses are available to buy now:

However, there are many places to get solar eclipse glasses for free!

Locations that offered free solar eclipse glasses to watch the recent eclipse:

3 people wearing solar eclipse glasses

1. Your local library

Thanks to a tip from a Hip2Save reader, we now know that many libraries carried free solar eclipse glasses!

Last year, the Space Science Institute sent 5 million solar eclipse glasses to 10,000 libraries across the country thanks to its Solar Eclipse Activities for Libraries (SEAL) program which is funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. This program is now closed for the time being, but your library may have benefitted from the program!

To see if your library had them available, call your local branch or visit the SEAL website to see a map of participating libraries.


2. Your nearest Warby Parker store

You may have visited a Warby Parker store to scoop up a FREE pair of ISO-certified solar eclipse glasses. The stores were giving them away starting April 1st for as long as supplies last. You can pick up two pairs of glasses per family. Use their location finder to locate a store near you.


3. Zoos, Gardens, Townships, & Museums

Some local zoos and museums may have given away free glasses:

Other museums hosted events with either paid tickets or a small fee for glasses, such as the Fort Worth Museum of Science & History.


4. Colleges & Educational Institutions

Some local colleges may have hosted free solar eclipse viewing parties that included glasses. The University of Texas at San Antonio is one institution that handed out free solar eclipse glasses to attendees.


5. Astronomy Clubs or Eclipse Ambassadors

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific recruited Eclipse Ambassadors to provide free solar eclipse glasses and other resources to underserved communities. See their website for a map of Eclipse Ambassadors near you.

Lastly, local planetariums and astronomy clubs may have hosted events or provided free solar eclipse glasses to the public.


6. SolarEclipse.US

Work for a public school? You may have applied at SolarEclipse.US for up to 25 FREE pairs of solar eclipse glasses.

The deadline to apply was March 1, 2024, but keep this organization in mind for future eclipse events!


7. My Eye Dr. Locations

My Eye Dr. near you were giving out FREE Solar Eclipse glasses while supplies lasted.


Woman looking through a DIY Solar Viewer she created thanks to Live Science
Credit: Live Science

Other options for viewing the solar eclipse…

Even without a pair of solar eclipse glasses, you didn’t have to miss out on the fun! NASA broadcasted the eclipse on their website or YouTube channel.

You could have also viewed the eclipse indirectly by making a DIY solar viewer. Space.com, NASA, Warby Parker, and Live Science offered tutorials to create one of your own!

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About the writer:

Kara is a writer and photographer from the Midwest. Her creative work has appeared in various publications over the past decade. With a background in finance, she loves to be money-savvy.


Join The Discussion

Comments 34

  1. Lora

    Our Metroparks nature centers are selling them for $2 in their little gift shops.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Awesome! Thanks for sharing where you’ve spotted them, Lora! ๐Ÿ’•

  2. Jean

    The last solar eclipse our library gave glasses free

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      SWEET! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ•ถ๏ธ

    • Monique

      Our library in Vegas said they became a liability when someone said they werenโ€™t safe so they pulled them ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™€๏ธ

  3. Liz Curtis

    This is a big event they’re expecting 200,000 in Ennis, Tx. & the kids are not having school because of all of the people they’ll be safer at home.

  4. Wendy

    The Warby Parker website says they are going to start giving away the glasses on April 1 until the big day. Just didn’t want people to go too early and be disappointed.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for mentioning that, Wendy! That detail has been updated. ๐Ÿค—

  5. Ann

    Spotted a display of solar eclipse glasses at Kroger this morning. They were the same ones I ordered from Amazonโ€ฆ.$1.99 each.

    • Trish (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing where you spotted these, Ann! Much appreciated! ๐Ÿค—โฃ๏ธ

  6. Esther

    Erie Pa is expecting gridlock. Medical helicopters are being strategically placed in case they canโ€™t navigate the roads.

    • Trish (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing, Theresa! ๐Ÿ˜Š

  7. Madison

    The Celesteron 4 pack is coming up at $29. Anywhere I can get just one pair?

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for the heads up on that price change, Madison. It’s been updated. It looks like the other two options dropped a bit, if you’d want to grab those instead. A bit further down in the post are some suggestions on how to grab a free pair, if you wanted to check with similar resources in your area for a pair rather than a package of multiples. โค๏ธ

    • Monique

      Try the T-Mobile store they were giving them out yesterday for Tmobile Tuesday and a lot of the stores has extra I went in today and asked for a parent and they gave them to me

  8. Anne

    If you live near an Eclipse Bank they will give 2 pairs per person free (don’t need to be a customer)
    Scooters coffee has been giving out 5 free pair with a purchase of one specialty drink
    Saw a stand at Meijer with the glasses for $1.99 each

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      So awesome! Good to know where you’ve spotted some freebies and deals at. Thanks, Anne! ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ’—

  9. Monique

    Tmobile was giving them away free yesterday I went today and asked for a pair and was able to get extra for free so maybe you could try that ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Trish (Hip Sidekick)

      Sweet! Thanks for sharing where you were able to snag a couple pair for free, Monique! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฉท

  10. Nancy Roberts

    Publix Grocery Store less than $2.00.

    • Trish (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing where you spotted them, Nancy! ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ•ถ๏ธ

  11. jen2020

    Lots of options in Amazon. All ISO certified.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Good to know you’ve found some additional options on Amazon too, jen2020. Thank you! ๐Ÿ’•

  12. Sherri

    Warby Parker is giving 2 free per person…
    MyEyeDr is giving one free per person…
    While supplies last…
    So excited I picked mine up…

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      SWEET! Thanks, Sherri! Glad you could score some! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ˜Ž

  13. Christy Michaels

    I thought you had a post yesterday with an image of an envelope addressed to Eclipse Glasses with a Provo, Utah address but now I can’t find it.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Sorry for any confusion, Christy. The details on where to donate your glasses can be found near the top of the post, when you click through that third link above. Hope that helps! ๐Ÿฅฐ

      • Christine M

        If I may suggest, posting the image again would make it much easier for everyone to find. At first I thought you meant #3 on the list, but I see that you actually meant the third link at the beginning of the post. Then you have to click on the plus sign on Eclipse Give Back and scroll down to finally see the address.

        • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

          Thanks for the feedback and suggestion, Christine. ๐Ÿ’• We’ve added that photo to the post. ๐Ÿค—

          • Christine M

            Awesome, thank you! Looks like a great cause!

            • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

              It sure does! You’re very welcome! ๐Ÿ’ž

  14. Pat

    Make sure you have the right postage if you mail them. If you fold in the sides, make sure they’re nice and flat, anything over 1/4″ thick needs more postage. If you send flat, you would need a very long envelope, and that costs more too.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for mentioning these helpful mailing tips, Pat. ๐Ÿค— Good to know it might be best to drop them off at the post office counter to be sure of accurate postage. โค๏ธ

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