We collected 37 glasses to deploy back into circulation via Lions Club
January 2, 2020
October 5, 2019 I found a pair of round aviator like sunglasses that were in good condition. Just a bit of rust on the side that was easily cleaned off. Our middle school daughter used them for her WWII-era pilot costume. The rest of her Halloween costume was clothing we had at home, mostly her grandmother’s, and Goodwill Finds. She used the glasses three times for Halloween themed events, and then deposited them into my glasses donation bag.
On October 19, 2019 I found the first pair of prescription glasses with black rims on the beach. They were in good condition and no scratchers. No identifying information and no owner in sight that early morning. They were safely stored away in the same bag.
Then the morning of December 1, 2019 after one of our first winter storms, a group of ocean cleaners in our town together found 9 sunglasses as literally a wave of plastic washed onto the shores. Those 9 sunglasses were put in a little pile far from the tide. Toward the end of the morning’s cleanings, my ocean plastic cleaning friends were gone and the pile remained. The glasses were somewhat scratched up but I think still usable. I gathered them and brought them home. I cleaned them twice with mild soap and water, and eye glass cleaner at home. It took the salty smell of the ocean a while to dissipate. It is not a bad smell. They went into that same bag after the smell was gone.
December 7, 2019 I found another pair of wire-rimmed prescription glasses. They were in good condition and without owner.
On December 14, 2019 our Girl Scout Troop had our annual Holiday Cookie Exchange. The girls made bees wax candles and clay dishes that were beautiful swirly colors. We also had asked families to bring any used prescription glasses or sunglasses that they wanted to donate. We collected many during this event.
Then on December 28, 2019 I had lost my iPhone during a sunset beach cleaning. I was so scared that I had lost it and it became pitch dark on the beach. When I got home that night, visibly upset and mad at myself for being so careless, Mr. Plastic Picker calmed me down and took me back to the beach. We clutched hands together and with a flashlight and his phone calling my phone, walked along the dark shores and listened to the crashing waves. We found my phone. I love Mr. Plastic Picker. We held each other tightly walking back home. And I found another pair of new sunglasses on the street that said San Diego Running Co on them.
And then through my own stash, I had at least four pairs of prescription glasses and sunglasses that were in good condition.
In a previous blog post, I had written that I did a bit of a Ecosians (not Google) search and learned that Lions Club has a Lions in Sight of California and Nevada will accept
- Eyeglasses. Please discard all eyeglass cases before sending or donating.
- Sunglasses. Prescription and non-prescription.
- Broken eyeglass parts. LIS recycles them as scrap.
- Clip on sunglasses with metal parts. Please discard clip ons that are all plastic. https://www.lionsinsight.net/how-to-donate-eyeglasses
Through my own personal Facebook, this blog and the Girl Scout email group, I asked “please give me your old sunglasses and prescription glasses that you no longer need. Do not give me your back up pairs! It important to have a back up pair. But I had 4 pairs that I cannot wear anyway because the prescription is too weak and it gives me headaches. My goal is 30 pairs by December 20 at 5PM when I finish clinic.” Indeed dear friends, I now realize that we exceeded our goal and we have 37 pairs.
Ultimately helping to correct vision will help a lot of people. Half of the lenses were prescription lenses in good condition and many children’s sizes. The sunglasses will help with preventing UV associated eye damange. Back when I went to Peru in the Andes mountain region, our group did a journal club. I learned that the primary eye diseases in the adult population up in the Andes is actually cataracts and UV-associated eye conditions like Ptergiums. These are easily prevented with sunglasses.
But in terms of this blog drplasticpicker.com, it feels very good to deploy these still useful 37 items made out of plastic and glass back into human circulation where they can be used again. Hopefully it prevents some new plastics from needing to be produced. Our lives require so much stuff, and the more we can fix and reuse the better.
Thank you to everyone. Thank you to the community members that collected the sunglasses after that stormy night. Thank you to our Girl Scouts and their parents for scouring their drawers for those stray glasses they no longer need. Thank you to our High School son for taping the box together and helping me pack the glasses. And thank you to Lion’s Club of California and Nevada for having a great program that makes it easy for us to help.