We Go Green or We Go Back


Bausch + Lomb ONE by ONE Recycling Program
partners with TerraCycle for their
recycling program.
PLANET EARTH— In the words of one of my favorite childhood cartoon heroes, Captain Planet, “The Power Is Yours.”

While everything might not always be greener on the other side, we should all try to take steps to make it so. It’s time to pull out your reusable water bottles and tote bags, turn on Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” and grab your favorite green frames because today marks the 47th annual celebration of Earth Day.

The theme of Earth Day 2017 is “Environmental and Climate Literacy,” and among the many events taking place today, Earth Day 2017 will see global teach-ins and a March for Science rally on the National Mall in D.C. that will bring together scientists and supporters.

In the 47 years since the first Earth Day, so much has changed about what we know of the environment and the ways in which we can try to reduce our carbon footprint, but there’s still much left to be done and the optical industry has been playing an active role in being a part of this change.

Global ReLeaf, a division of American Forests,
has partnered with Shopko for planting a tree for
every pair of Global ReLeaf eyewear sold.
From brands using more sustainable materials in their eyewear and those creating partnerships with environmental causes to companies who have started their own initiatives, the industry is making an effort to be environmentally conscious.

Here’s a small sampling of what some companies and brands are up to in celebration of Earth Day and beyond. Bausch + Lomb recently announced that over 180,000 units of used contact lenses and blister packs have been recycled through the Bausch + Lomb ONE by ONE Recycling Program in collaboration with TerraCycle, a world leader in the collection and repurposing of hard-to-recycle, post-consumer waste.

Additionally, during an Earth Day celebration which was held on April 18 and hosted by Earth Day Initiative, a not-for-profit that promotes environmental awareness, Bausch + Lomb educated consumers about the Bausch + Lomb ONE by ONE Recycling Program in NYC’s Union Square. Along with learning that they can recycle their used contact lenses and blister packs through the program, consumers also found out how their waste will help support Optometry Giving Sight.

The Neubau campaign featuring the Valerie and Dani
frames in green which are made with natural PX.
“We are thrilled by the positive feedback and participation the Bausch + Lomb ONE by ONE Recycling Program has received since launch,” said John Ferris, vice president and general manager, U.S. Vision Care, Bausch + Lomb. “We look forward to the continued success of this program and helping it grow to inspire others to take one small step to one day create a greener future.”

Another industry member seeking to be more “green” is Shopko who just marked a major milestone with the planting of its 50,000th tree in collaboration with Global ReLeaf, a division of American Forests.

The Global ReLeaf eyewear collection, designed and produced by Nouveau Eyewear since 2008, is available in 135 Shopko Eyecare Centers. Each time a Shopko patient purchases a Global ReLeaf frame, American Forest plants a tree in an area of environmental need in an attempt to slow global warming, and also beautify neighborhoods and restore ecosystems around the world.

Illustration of the cycle that goes
into making frames with natural PX.
According to American Forests, “over 50 percent of drinking water in the U.S. comes from forests. Fifteen percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. are absorbed by trees each year, and just two acres of forests can provide enough oxygen for more than 500 people each year,” the company said in a statement.”

“I am so proud of our opticians in supporting this great program in providing patients eyewear that truly makes a difference,” said Kirk Lauterback, director of optical services, Shopko.

Austrian-based eyewear brand, neubau which describes itself as urban, sustainable and authentic, recently launched its See & Do Good efforts.

With a focus on high quality and innovative eco-friendly materials, the brand debuted three new models: Bob, Valerie and Dani using a material called natural PX which is a highly developed eco-friendly polymer. It’s made from organically sourced and renewable raw materials. The basis of more than half of their natural PX is an oil extracted from the seeds of the castor bean plant, and as of this month, their frames will be made from this sustainable material.

Costa’s Remora frame in blue
made with an eco-friendly,
bio-based resin.
Along with natural PX, the neubau frame cases are manufactured from a cellulose base without the need for glue and feature a cleaning cloth made from PET bottles.

Costa’s Kick Plastic campaign raises awareness
about the growing plastic pollution problem
threatening the world’s oceans.

In addition to their products, neubau eyewear is collaborating with an upcycling project named Gabarage to create new, useful products from used materials; supporting tree planting in Vienna and supporting the HoneyBee Conservancy in New York.

For Costa, life on the water means protecting and advocating for cleaner oceans. Their Kick Plastic campaign aims to raise awareness about the growing plastic pollution problem threating the oceans worldwide. Through the campaign they want to encourage others to join the movement by replacing everyday plastic items with reusable ones.

The company also utilizes a unique bio-based, eco-friendly resin within all of its plastic or nylon sunglasses and optical frames. According to the company, using this bio-based resin instead of petroleum-based resin allows them to greatly reduce their emissions and overall carbon footprint.

“One Frame—One Tree” in partnership with the
NGO, Trees for the Future plant one tree
for every Eco frame sold.
With Modo Eyewear’s Eco brand, the company’s program “One Frame—One Tree” works in partnership with the NGO Trees for the Future to plant one tree for every Eco frame sold. In addition to Eco’s frames being sustainable—made from either 95 percent recycled content or 63 percent bio-based material—the project works with communities to help farmers develop sustainable land-use practices.

“One Frame—One Tree” has already helped to plant over 1.4 million trees since its inception, and that number continues to grow with every Eco frame sold,” Modo said.

Modo’s social purpose initiatives are promoted through all of the company’s marketing messages whether through their website or on in-store counter cards and POP materials. Information about the company’s programs are also included with each frame’s case.

Even though the official Earth Day observance is only 24 hours long, preserving the planet is a 24/7 job. So, here are some ways that you can get involved.

“I hope you like Earth Day as much as I do. I’m oddly excited about it.”
—Jamie Wilson