20/20 in 2020 - Zero Waste Contacts
Updated: Feb 1, 2020
Fun fact: My eyesight is SOOO bad, eyeglass companies will not offer Transition lens for my prescription. Meaning I am forced to use contacts when I want to wear sun glasses. I literally cannot protect my eyes from the SUN, unless I put little expensive pieces of plastic on them. It blows my mind.
I've used glasses since I was in the second grade, and transitioned to using mostly contacts starting in high school. When I first switched to contacts I used monthly lenses, and to this day monthly lenses are far cheaper than daily contacts. After I was told by my third optometrist over the years "my eyes are SOOOOO dry." I decided to finally try using daily contacts about a year ago, when I learned about Hubble Contacts. I knew that could not afford the typical name brand daily lenses, so I was excited to try this brand.
Hubble Contacts cost $33 per box (30 pairs of contacts) so their price point is $1.10 per set of lenses compared to name brands like 1-Day Acuvue Moist ($1.51 a pair) and Dailies Aqua Comfort Plus ($1.49 a pair). This equals to a savings of about $140-150 a year. This is a huge savings, especially if you do not have insurance to help cover those costs. I found the Hubble contacts worked well with my eyes, and I liked being able to pay month to month, instead of dropping $500-600 in one setting. The skip shipment feature was also incredible handy.
I've wanted to get LASIK, or some form of eye surgery since I first heard about it as a teenager. It wasn't until recently that I have been in a position to both have vision insurance and be able to afford a very (upfront) costly procedure (hello Health Savings Account!)
In addition to wanting eye surgery, the amount of waste contact lenses create is huge! I can only imagine the countless amount of contacts and disposable lens cases I have thrown away over the years. The majority of my bathroom trash is plastic contact lens containers. If you wear contacts as well, you know the struggle, and until recently I have no idea you could even recycle contact lens and their disposable cases.
Before I go on, I want to remind you to NEVER feel guilty or wasteful for having a a condition that requires use of a medical item. Thankfully with the advancement of medicine and technology we have amazing items that help us navigate through our daily lives, but the sustainability aspect is not in sync. If you have access to resources to help you live fully, please take advantage of those, and be mindful and grateful of the benefits they provide to you. Without glasses or contacts, I could not do my job, drive, travel, or live as fully as I do today, so I am very thankful for advancements like these.
So, you can easily see why I was ecstatic to find out there is an entire program (thank you Bausch + Lomb and Terracycle) for recycling contacts and disposable containers! There are several different different eye care facilities that participate in the program nationwide, (find nearby location here) and you can opt into the Terracycle program individually as well! They do ask that you rinse the containers for any remaining lens solution, and separate the foil tops from the plastic. I now have a little container set up to hold all my lenses and disposable cases. Additionally, you can also curbside recycle the plastic portion of the containers by cleaning and removing the foil and placing them inside a larger plastic containers and putting in your recycling bin!
The goal is 20/20 in 2020, and closer to my goal of being more zero waste!