Color Them Green

Both Shane Palmer, co-owner of Green Eyewear Optical in Ontario, Canada, and Gary Nguyen, O.D, owner of Eye Impact in Houston, are firm believers in sustainability. And they definitely practice what they preach.
As the article in the November issue of EB indicates, both have designed their locations, inside and out, to be environmentally friendly. But their commitments don’t stop there. Whether it’s selling high-end eyewear or recycling old eyeglasses, they do both with a purpose.
Both carry the green message through to products they carry and tie giving into them as well.
Palmer says, “We carry Tipton Made frames, created from recycled records. We also developed our own line with M49, made from recycled plastic, and sell a lot of eyewear from Alternative Eyewear and Plan B Eyewear. We give percentage of each sale of them to a local green organization that is matched by Alternative Eyewear and Plan B Eyewear.”
As for Eye Impact, Dr. Nguyen says, “We offer MODO ECO eyewear, which reuses all the leftover scraps of zyl and re-forms them into new frames and then plants trees in the Amazon for every pair sold. We also carry Gold & Wood, Teka, and Tom Davies, all of which utilize renewable materials in the production of their frames.”
Both businesses carry their recycling beyond their walls. “We re-purpose old eyeglasses,” explains Palmer. “We work with a couple of different organizations that take old glasses and find homes for them again It's the best and easiest thing our industry can do.”
Dr. Nguyen agrees, “We collect old glasses from patients to donate to mission trips to South America where they can be reused for people who don't have access to eyecare.”
He adds, “We are also a paperless office, plus we recycle all paper waste product and offer free cleaning spray refills to patients as long as they bring back our little Eye Impact branded bottle. (That way we don't keep giving out bottles that will end up in landfills).”
—Stephanie K. De Long