If you are one of those lucky people with 20/20 vision (like my husband), I envy you. But for the unlucky souls like me, I wanted to offer a few tips on keeping your eye care as sustainable as possible.
I wear glasses at least 1 day out of the week, just to give my eyes a rest from contacts. I also switch to glasses the minute I am done with work for the day. Glasses are a lot more sustainable than contacts, but obviously they aren’t the best option for everyone. Here are a few tips to keep your waste down when you use glasses:
- Re-use your frame: Glasses prescriptions last 2 years. When your prescription is up, just have your optomistrist swap out the lens. You will save a lot of money. I spent about $150 on my Ermenegildo Zegna frames, and I don’t plan on swapping them out anytime soon. If you absolutely need to change your frame, you can have your optomistrist swap out the lenses for a pair of shades or no prescription lenses. You can have a cute fashion statement or sunglasses.
- Ditch the lens wipes: These are expensive and usually packaged individually, creating lots of waste. I just use castile soap, warm water, and the cloth that my glasses came in to clean my lens.
There are no zero waste options for contacts. Nor do I think there should be. I feel like in order to make sure everything is sterile, it’s impossible to have a zero waste option for contact solution or contact lens. However, you can still be conscious and sustainable to divert 100% of the waste from landfills.
- Switch to bi-weekly or monthly contacts: It’ll save you lots of money. Dailies typically cost a lot more than bi-weekly or monthly contacts. You will also save a lot of packaging from being produced. For example, if you use monthly contacts, you will only create 12 pairs of packaging. If you use dailies, that’s 365 pairs of packaging a year.
- Recycle every part of your contact solution packaging: These usually come in a cardboard box that is recyclable. The bottle will also have a little plastic shrink wrap on the cap. I drop these off at my local grocery store (where you can also drop off plastic bags). The plastic bottle is typically made from #2 HDPE plastic, which is easily recyclable.
- Recycle contacts blister packaging and your lens: Depending on your municipality, your blister packaging might actually recyclable through your curbside recycling program. If not, Bausch + Lomb has this cool recycling program where you can send in your contact packaging (and the used contact lens) for free.