Recycling Update for all things Eye Care!

New recycling options for eye drop containers and contact lens cases!

We are into our fifth year of recycling contact lenses and contact lens packaging as a Terra Cycle partner! A common concern for our potential daily wear contact lens wearers was the amount of waste the daily disposable contacts would generate. We’re excited to have this solution available and we’ve now shipped over 460 pounds of contact lens waste that has been dropped off by you Bellingham for proper recycling. Yes – I calculated that twice to make sure. Municipal recycle pick up would sort out these little pieces of plastic from the recycle and now we’ve diverted the equivalent weight of a tiger out of the landfill!

An average Bengal Tiger weighs 450 lbs. Binyon Vision Center has shipped over 460 lbs of contact lens waste for recycling since 2018.

We’ve worked hard to get the word out about our contact lens recycling program and these results show it has been successful! Now we’re excited to introduce a new recycling program available for more eyecare products. Binyon Vision Center is now also a drop off point for recycling the following items:

  • All brands of contact lens cases
  • All brands of contact lens solution bottle caps (bottles can be recycled through the city recycling program- but caps are too small!)
  • Eye drop single dose vials
  • Eye drop packaging

Hard to remember? Here’s a little image to help. If it has to do with your eye care or eye wear and it seems too small to go into the City Recycle… we will probably be able to recycle it!

With the addition of eye drop packaging, this spreads to non-contact lens wearers! We’d appreciate helping us get the word out- if you can share this image above with your friends, family members and social media followers we can get more people recycling these items. As with the contact lens packaging, anyone can drop by a container of these products, we’ll take the goods and return your container if you’d like. You can drop it through our mail slot (if it fits!) during our closed hours.

Recycling around the office with Ridwell

Our optical business receives many boxes via courier service and various package delivery outfits every day. Yes, this is so fun- new frames for our showroom floor, our patient’s completed prescription glasses, office supplies, and more to keep us going! After the thrill of opening the boxes of new glasses, the let down was the amount of unrecyclable waste. Over a year ago, Dr. LeClaire opened an account with Ridwell, a unique pick up service for hard to recycle items. Check out here if they are available in your area.

Recently, we upgraded our Ridwell service to the unlimited plan. This allows us to recycle:

  • Plastic film (many frame companies send their frames to us in plastic film bags for protection)
  • Batteries
  • Threads
  • Light bulbs
  • Multi-layered plastic (food storage bags for example)
  • Clear plastic clamshells
  • Styrofoam
  • Latex paint and fluorescent lights for a minimal extra fee

We received a bin to fill for monthly pick up but with our unlimited plan, we can add extra bags (and we always do!) outside of the bin and they will take those also. We love the knowledge the extra waste that comes in the door can be recycled and what is especially cool about Ridwell is they will tell us where it’s going! They are transparent and accountable for how and where the recycled materials are used. See more details here.

With Terra Cycle and Ridwell, small recycling steps add up!

You can help us with our mission to divert small eye care waste from landfills – reference the image above and drop by these new items along with your contact lens waste to Binyon Vision Center. If you haven’t started using Ridwell yet, we’d encourage you to give it a try! The service can be canceled any time if it’s not a good fit. For the Binyon Vision Center team, the peace of mind all of us get from not throwing these previously unrecyclable items into the garbage can is priceless!

Lafont Trunk Show- Finding the Perfect Pair of Glasses!

The ENTIRE Lafont Collection on display

There was no doubt on July 12, 2023- Lafont Paris was in the Binyon house in Bellingham, WA. One of the pioneers of the independent eyewear movement and family owned for 100 years – we are always so excited to welcome this company to take over the store and show their extensive and unique line of frames.

Cheetah, cheetah and more cheetah

A long time signature of the Lafont line is the cheetah print that has graced many a frame style in the last 100 years. One table was dedicated to all of the current frames that come in cheetah print. There are over 18 frames that incorporate cheetah into their color scheme!

My mission – finding my next frame to compliment my current collection!

When I became presbyopic a few years ago and needed progressive lenses to see the fine print- my glasses collection severely reduced in size! I was so excited to peruse the latest Lafont line to find the perfect pair. There were two that stood out immediately- both recommended by the Lafont rep for the Pacific Northwest, Ciara.

The “Maud” features a metal polka dot motif in an amazing cut out bronze color accented by the bottom light blue. I love the delicacy of the cut outs- I had a previous Lafont frame with a filigree cut out and it looked like a piece of jewelry. Jordan pointed out the bronze color might not wear well in winter without the summer glow, and I had to agree! Maybe next time, Maud.

Oh hello “Jeanne” … this is the magic of a trunk show. Jeanne has been at the Binyon store before but in a different color combination. This pop of color combined with lightness and my favorite shape was exactly what I needed. I put these on, and knew I’d found the perfect pair.

After making my final selection, I was excited to be measured by the new tool in the office, the Shamir Spark hands-free measuring tool. Heather sat me down to look in the mirror and showed me how the machine took all the necessary measurements for the progressive lenses, even calculating how far the glasses were from the front of my eyes and the angle from the top to the bottom of the lenses. I’m so excited to get the Autograph Intelligence lenses with these new frames- the best in progressive lens technology.

Lafont Trunk Show Invitation

What is a trunk show?

A trunk show is an opportunity for a manufacturer to bring in their entire collection to a retail partner. As much as an optical boutique like ours would love to carry every frame in every color, we get to choose our inventory carefully (PS – stay tuned for an upcoming blog interview with our office manager on how she chooses which frames to bring in the store)!

During a trunk show, we get a limited opportunity to bring in every frame from one of our manufacturers in every color and it is SO fun. This summer, we’re bringing one of our longtime favorites, Lafont Paris who is also celebrating their 100th year in business!

Who is Lafont?

Here is a snippet from the Lafont website about their rich history in eyewear:

“Lafont’s story begins with Louis Lafont in 1923 and the opening of his optical boutique at 11 rue Vignon Paris. The Maison took a pivotal turn in the 1980’s with Laurence and Philippe Lafont introducing their iconic frame – GENIE. Today Thomas and Matthieu, fourth generation the of Lafont family, head Maison Lafont, where independence remains a pillar of the brand.

Together they are committed to the future ensuring eco-responsibility in their products and services.

Lafont is full of color and Parisian style. Signature colors and patterns are combined with seasonal shading forming unique and exclusive designs. Evidence of the authenticity of French eyewear expertise and French manufacturing found in the unique combination of artisanal craftsmanship and technology that is fundamental to the House.
One passion guides our collections: a beautiful product made with care and attention to detail.”

With over 500 additional frames in stock, we hope that you join us for return of the annual Lafont Trunk show!

Your Invitation!

Welcome Dr. Squires!

Dear Patients,

We are extremely excited to announce the addition of a new optometrist to the team at Binyon Vision Center.  Dr. Patrick Squires will start seeing patients on April 24th and have availability on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  

Dr. Squires grew up in St. Louis and graduated from the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry with honors.  He has spent most of his career working in community health clinics in Seattle.  Dr. Squires helped establish a diabetic clinic for the Puget Sound Neighborhood Health Clinics, where he did retinal screenings.  He volunteered with UW Faculty and medical students, “Sight Savers”, and local health fairs including Seamar’s Latina Health Fair. He was also a past director and a volunteer at the Millionair Club Eye Clinic in Seattle. 

Dr. Squires’ wife is from Glasgow.  While pursuing her, he spent four years working abroad in Germany and Scotland.  During his time in Germany, Dr. Squires set up contact lens clinics as a civilian for the Department of Defense.

Dr. Squires’ son attends Fairhaven Middle School, and his wife is an Occupational Therapist for the Opportunity Council.  In his free time, Dr. Squires travels the I-5 corridor driving his son to his next soccer match.  Being an avid baseball fan, he is a season ticket holder to the Everett Aquasox, and frequently attends Bellingham Bells games.  Dr. Squires considers himself fortunate to have worked with many exceptional clinicians, and caring individuals, throughout his career. He has great respect for Dr. McEathron and is excited to join Dr. LeClaire and Binyon Vision Center.

Dr. McEathron will be working two days a week in June and on Wednesdays in July until he hangs up his ophthalmoscope- except for occasional vacation fill-in for the other doctors!  We wish him all the best in his retirement.

Sincerely,

Dr. Heather LeClaire and the Binyon team

Patient Appreciation Month

Each of you who trusts us with your eye health and glasses needs are invaluable to our business. For patient appreciation month we celebrate YOU. Thank you for your support.

Our community’s support of local, independent businesses is above and beyond. Inspired by the “Think Local” campaign – we’ve put together a drawing with prizes from some of our favorite local businesses and multiple ways for our patients to enter! This year we’re going bigger – more prizes and more ways to win!

Here are the ways you can earn entries to the patient appreciation drawing:

  • Stop by the office and request an entry!
  • Bring by your spray bottle for a refill for two entries!
  • Bring in used contact lenses and packaging for recycling for two entries
  • Purchase a 3, 6 or 9 month supply of contacts = three entries
  • Purchase new lenses for your frame = three entries
  • Purchase a plano (non-prescription) pair of sunglasses = three entries
  • Purchase a year supply of contacts = five entries
  • Order a new complete pair of glasses = five entries

And now the best part! The prizes!

  • A pair of Ovvo frames- your pick- and a free set of lenses = one complete pair of glasses!!
  • Gift certificate to Binyon Vision Center
  • Custom 5 x 7 painting by local artist Ben Mann
  • Gift certificate to Lockbreaker Escape Rooms
  • Gift certificate to Pure Bliss
  • Local artist Phoebe Wahl gifts
  • Cute but Crazy Socks
  • Gift certificate for Village Books
  • Aslan Brewing Co swag
  • And more!

All qualifying purchases will be automatically added to the drawing throughout the month of April and the winner will be notified the first week of May! One prize per entrant. No limit to number of entries.

Thank you again for your incredible support of our business! We appreciate you!

Also! Keep a look out on our Instagram page for a special social media giveaway this month!

Holiday Hours and End of the Year Pep Talk!

The end of the year is a busy season and we’re here to help make sure you’ve got clarity going into the new year in more ways than one!

First order of business – our office will be open our regular office hours of Monday – Friday 8:30 – 5:30, closed for lunch 12:30 – 1:30 except for the following days: Thanksgiving and the day after, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Our office will be closed those dates.

ohh la la party glasses
Face a Face frames can help you ring in 2020 right!

Next – let’s talk about vision insurance and flexible spending accounts.  Are you familiar with the details of your insurance plan?  Many benefits expire at the end of the year- let us help you find out more details about yours!

Calendar year vision benefits

Many plans are on a calendar year cycle. This means they renew on January 1st no matter when you used them last.  A common plan in our area that has this benefit is the Uniform/Regence plan. This plan is an option for employees at Western Washington University.  Patients can use this benefit to their advantage by using the hardware allowance for glasses in December of 2019 and contacts or a second pair of glasses in January 2020.  That means the hardware would not be available again until January 2022, but it’s a fun way to maximize your benefits if they are still available.

Flexible Spending Accounts

Some employers offer their employees to defer part of their salary to a tax-free savings account. This can be used towards medical expenses.  These are “use-it-or-lose-it” plans. These plans will expire with the funds going away either at the end of the year- or in some cases on March 15th.  Talk with your employers or the manager of your FSA fund to make sure you understand the balance in your account and when it might expire.

Money saved into flexible spending accounts can be used for medical expenses that are not covered by insurance- but must be medically related.  In our world that means – eye exams, copays, glasses, contact lenses and prescription sunglasses.

colorful glasses

There might be no better time to update your glasses or stock up on contact lenses!

Please give us a call to check on your vision benefits or to answer any questions on how you could maximize the money you’ve saved in your FSA account!

Some of the frames in our “Red-Dot” sale!

Also, we have a large number of frames in our “red-dot” sale section right now- all 30% off!  We look forward to seeing you this year! We would love to help you see 2020 going into the year 2020!

Photos by Katheryn Moran Photography. See more of her excellent work here!

Garrett Leight Trunk Show

You are invited to the Garrett Leight x Binyon Vision Center  Trunk Show!

 

Please join us for a special opportunity to see the Garrett Leight California Optical collection in its entirety – all optical frames, all sun frames, all colors.

Garrett Leight California Optical represents a new generation of eyewear inspired by classic designs and California culture. The response at Binyon has been overwhelming since we started carrying the line in June of this year. The classically tailored frames appeal across all generations.  We’ve seen a 80 year old man and a 24 year old woman select the same frame! From the family that created Oliver People- GLCO makes beautiful eyewear the right way- with high quality materials and fine craftsmanship.

Join us as we welcome Mr. Brett Cates from GLCO with the entire collection – all frames and all colors. Feel free to browse the website www.garrettleight.com to get a feel for the selection and come in November 26th between 10-4 to try any of these frames on for yourself! Don’t miss the sunglasses selection – it is amazing.

All first pair lenses purchased with GLCO frame will be 20% off.  Any second pair purchase of GLCO will have lenses discounted 30% off!

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

2018 Lafont Trunk Show June 5th!

You Are Invited to the 2018 Lafont Trunk Show!

Lafont Trunk Show at Binyon Vision Center

Please join us for a special opportunity to see the entire Lafont Paris line of frames at our Lafont Trunk Show. There will be every frame, every color, and over 500 additional frames in the store!

Lafont Trunk Show at Binyon Vision Center

In addition to frames, we will have great refreshments, a photobooth, and raffle prizes from some of our favorite downtown shops.

Lafont Trunk Show at Binyon Vision Center

When? Tuesday June 5th – 10am – 4pm

Where? Binyon Vision Center 411 E. Magnolia Street

Why? Because we love Lafont and you will too!

No RSVP necessary – please come by!  We look forward to seeing you!

See the Facebook event here and say you’re going or interested to get a notification reminder on the day of the event!

Lafont Paris Trunk Show Coming June 6, 2017

You’re Invited to the 2017 Lafont Paris Trunk Show!

What?  Every spring, our wonderful Lafont Paris sales rep Michael brings all his bags – every frame from every Lafont collection in every color.  Yes, that’s a LOT of wonderful, handmade, unique and colorful frames.

Lafont Paris Trunk Show

In addition to frames, we have great refreshments, a photobooth, raffle prizes from some of our favorite downtown shops and this year! a special guest.  Marlene from Lipsense will be in the office during the trunk show with her collection of amazing products – smudge-proof lip color in a wide variety of colors.  How fun will it be to pick out a great pair of glasses and the perfect shade of lipstick to go with them?

When? June 6, 2017 from 10am – 4pm

Where? Binyon Vision Center – 411 East Magnolia Street

Why? Because we love Lafont and you will too!

No RSVP necessary – please come by!  We look forward to seeing you!

See photos of last year’s event here!

See the Facebook event here and say you’re interested to be reminded on the day of!

Use it- Don’t Lose it – Benefits expire December 31st!

<< our series on why to NOT buy online glasses will continue in the next post!>>

Have you been paying for vision insurance or into a flexible spending account all year?  Are you familiar with the details of your insurance plan?  Many benefits expire at the end of the year- let us help you find out more details about yours!

Calendar year vision benefits

Many plans are on a calendar year cycle. This means they renew on January 1st no matter when you used them last.  A common plan in our area that has this benefit is the Uniform/Regence plan. This plan is an option for employees at Western Washington University.  Patients can use this benefit to their advantage by using the hardware allowance for glasses in December of 2016 and contacts or a second pair of glasses in January 2017.  That means the hardware would not be available again until January 2018, but it’s a fun way to maximize your benefits if they are still available.

Flexible Spending Accounts

Some employers offer their employees to defer part of their salary to a tax-free savings account. This can be used towards medical expenses.  These are “use-it-or-lose-it” plans. These plans will expire with the funds going away either at the end of the year- or in some cases on March 15th.  Talk with your employers or the manager of your FSA fund to make sure you understand the balance in your account and when it might expire.

Money saved into flexible spending accounts can be used for medical expenses that are not covered by insurance- but must be medically related.  In our world that means – eye exams, copays, glasses, contact lenses and prescription sunglasses.

There might be no better time to update your glasses or stock up on contact lenses!

Please give us a call to check on your vision benefits or to answer any questions on how you could maximize the money you’ve saved in your FSA account!

Also, we have a large number of frames in our “red-dot” sale section right now- all 30% off!  We look forward to seeing you this year!

vision insurance benefits

vision insurance benefitsvision insurance benefits