Eco-friendly Sunglasses and Eyewear
Sunglasses are important and thankfully, growing in popularity. Every year brings more styles and accessibility, you can even buy them at the grocery store or pharmacy. Unfortunately, due to being small and easily lost, they are treated as a disposable commodity. They are made from plastics and other non-sustainable materials that end up in the ocean, lakes, rivers, and ponds. Even if a person is lucky enough to hold onto their sunglasses for years, they will eventually wear out and be thrown away, and end up in a landfill. Plastic does not break down easily, on average it takes approximately 450 years. Eco-friendly sunglasses are not easy to find but thankfully, there are some great companies out there making sunglasses from recycled plastics and metals, as well as wood and bamboo. Here at The Mindful Merchants, we have collected a few of those eco-friendly pairs to share with you.
Plastic sunglasses sink, so if they’re dropped into deep water, you may never see them again. Not only is this a waste of money, it’s bad for the environment. In recent years, bamboo sunglasses have come on the scene. Bamboo is an all around great product as it is cheaper and easier to grow than many other trees. Bamboo forest plantations can be harvested about every six years while other trees often take atleast twenty to fifty years. Because bamboo floats, this solves the problem of your sunglasses sinking. It is also very light weight which helps to cut down on the red marks on the bridge of your nose.
This pair from Skymood features full bamboo frame. The soft look of the cream colored bamboo contrast brilliantly with the bright blue lenses. The ones shown are a stylish round “Hollywood” inspired frame, but they also have other styles, including wayfarers. They come with a lined bamboo travel case.
For darker wood we reccommend this pair titled “Crest” from Tree People. This pair is also polarized to reduce glare caused when light from the sun reflects off water or a solid surface. By neutralizing glare, polarized lenses allow you see things more clearly, and provide more protection for harmful effects of UV light. They come with a microfiber pouch which can be used for storage and cleaning.
While bamboo has many postivies, plastics do offer more in the way of color and style choices. So, as with all other products, it is best to try to use recycled material as this cuts down on waste. Because manufacturers of sunglasses must use plastic for lenses, it is great to find companies who at least use recycled plastic or some bamboo parts.
This pair by Blue Planet Eyewear uses bamboo arms and recycled plastic frames and lenses. They offer 100% UVA/UVB pretection. We love the vibrant hot red color of the frames. A protective case is included.
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On A Budget?
While the above sunglasses are amazing, some of us who are very active and tend to lose our sunglasses once a month, might still get a little sticker shock at spending $30 on a pair of sunglasses. So we’ve picked out these from NeonNation. These glasses have bamboo arms and are made in the USA. Neon Nation specializes in neon colored items and have many other affordable USA made products. Check them out!