The conversation about the conservation of the planet is more important now than it ever has been before. We have all witnessed it firsthand, from droughts to floods to wildfires. Our planet’s climate is drastically changing and the time to take action is now. It’s a daunting task, but one that has been recognized by leading scientists to be critical if we want the future of our planet to thrive.
This is not meant to be a manifesto, nor a call to action, though it should be noted that everyone should do their part. Rather, this is to bring transparency to how we approach sustainability and showcase the companies big and small that we support and have made it their mission to use recycled or renewable materials for eye care.
Frames can be made from a lot of different materials. Historically, they’ve been made from metal, wood, actual tortoiseshell, horns, and other materials. However, as technology has advanced, we have been able to embrace more sustainable materials and, more importantly, cruelty-free materials.
There’s a lot of different companies out there that are making frames using eco-friendly or recycled materials. While there’s too many to list in a single blog, there’s three that we especially like!
Blue Planet Eco-Eyewear – Since 2009, every pair of glasses made by Blue Planet uses recycled and/or repurposed materials. They use excess plastic waste and organic materials like bamboo, walnut, beechwood, and zebrawood in their frames. Blue Planet also donates a pair of glasses for every pair they sell, having donated over 1,000,000 glasses to those in need.
Eco by MODO – We carry a lot of these, and for good reason! MODO is already a huge name in the eyewear fashion game. Their ECO brand uses recycled metals and biobased materials to make quality frames with green origin stories. For every pair sold, they plant a tree, helping to grow forests around the globe.
Costa Del Mar – When our offices open back up, you’ll be seeing a lot of these on display! They use bio-based resin from castor seed oil, along with recycled fishing nets, to make their shades. In addition to using eco-friendly materials, they also have a number of programs that are dedicated to protecting the environment, recycling lenses, and cleaning beaches.
While contact lenses cannot be traditionally recycled with your standard, curbside recycling, there are still ways you can take action to have them recycled. Bausch + Lomb’s ONE by ONE Recycling Program lets you send in contacts to be properly recycled. Traditional recycling plants don’t accept contacts because they’re too small and end up in landfills. Bausch + Lomb partnered with TerraCycle, which has allowed them to properly recycle contact lenses and the blister packs they come in.
What are we doing?
Downtown Vision wants to be as transparent as possible with our sustainability efforts. Not only do we support and proudly sell eco-friendly brands, but we do our part as well. We recycle bottles, boxes, magazines, plastic bags and more – all appropriately.
We also take part in the Lions Club’s “Lions In Sight” program. This program repurposes old glasses by cleaning them and redistributing them to those in need.
We gladly accept old glasses that you no longer wear or have use for. The donated glasses are cleaned up and the power of the prescription is cataloged, after which Lion’s Club redistributes the glasses to those in need all over the world. Many of us have worked directly with the Lions In Sight program, participating in clinics in Africa, Mexico, Haiti, and the Hoopa Valley Reservation.
Being Green At Home
There’s also a lot you can do at home. There are countless ways to be more sustainable, from composting and collecting coffee grounds for fertilizer, to being creative and finding ways to re-use or repurpose different containers.
It’s also worth reviewing Nevada’s recycling guidelines to better understand what is and isn’t considered recyclable in the state. The quick summary: plastics numbered 1-7, aluminum cans, cardboard, paper, and glass bottles/jars are all recyclable.
We also recommend checking out what your city is doing! The City of Reno’s “Reno Resilience” program is dedicated to showcasing what actions the City is taking to make Reno a greener, more sustainable city.