In February, the eye doctor told me I need to start wearing glasses all the time. It was bound to happen. I’m over 30 and I’ve spent most of my day in front of a computer for the last 10 years. Anyway, after less than 6 months, I’d had it with glasses. Time to try contacts. Being the ecogeek that I am, I had to look into which was better for the environment, glasses or contacts. It turns out, not many people are interested in that (I couldn’t find much), but there’s a pretty good discussion on Slate.com.
The plastic used for glasses weighs 35 grams, which is the equivalent of almost four years’ worth of daily contacts (9.125 grams for daily lenses). But when you throw in all the extra stuff you need for contacts — the cases, solution, and a backup pair of glasses, glasses seem to be a greener choice. And glasses can be donated.
In the end, the article finds that the difference between glasses and contacts is minimal and can be offset by recycling the plastic and cardboard associated with the contacts.
My other main concern with a new product is whether it’s made from animals or tested on animals. Turns out, contact solution has an animal byproduct and is tested on animals. Ew. The good news is, Clear Conscience offers a contact lens solution that is free of animal products and testing . Yay! It’s available at Mustard Seed, Whole Foods, and more. (Check with your eye doctor before switching solution.)
After a trial run with contacts, it turns out I’m a glasses girl.