People are becoming very aware of and sensitive to the impact their daily lives have on the world’s environment. As a result, an entire movement specific to optometry has been developed. It is known as the Optical Sustainable Industry or O.S.I.
At its root is the creation of ‘green glasses’ which can be explained as ‘glasses that respect the environment’. But, exactly what that means is a bit more complex. Green glasses can be those that are made from sustainable materials. They may also be attributed to the manufacturing processes that are employed in their development – processes that do the least amount of harm or leave the smallest eco-footprint in the end. For instance, many companies are now looking at ‘zero waste’ as a credo by which to conduct their business. Zero waste means creating a manufacturing process that will leave no waste to be carted off to landfills or otherwise disposed of. Want to know more? What follows are some of the specifics of ‘green glasses’ designs.
• One company makes their lenses completely from recycled Mineral Glass instead of plastic. There are many advantages to glass over plastic. Glass is believed to be ‘eco-friendly’ to a greater extent than plastic because it requires less energy to create and it is recyclable. Plastic is also known to leach toxins into the environment.
Too, glass lenses are fully recyclable which means they have less of an impact on the environment.
• Eyeglass frames have been made from plastic, metal and acetate over the years. None of these materials are natural or eco-friendly. They are not natural substances and the processes used to make the frames have some impact on the natural environment in the form of waste byproducts and the chemicals used to create them.
However, bamboo and wood are both recyclable and renewable. More and more frame companies are also using re purposed wood. For example, one company makes their frames from the wood that was once part of the interior of private jets! Bamboo and wood have unique grains that make each pair unique and that has its own appeal!