Don’t Throw Away Your Old Mascara—It Could Save a Baby Duck!

published Mar 11, 2019
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If you thought your dried-out mascara wands weren’t good for anything but the trash can, think again. Thanks to Reddit user marilynbmonroe, the web is abuzz with a surprising—and potentially life-saving—way to repurpose your old mascara wands when you’re done with them.

The Wands for Wildlife initiative is asking supporters to recycle their mascara wands to help save the lives of wild animals. You see, it turns out that your useless old mascara wands can actually be repurposed to remove fly eggs and larva from the fur of wild animals, including rabbits, opossums, groundhogs, and more. Because the wands are small and the bristles are so close together, they work wonders for combing out harmful parasites on even the most tiny, fragile creatures—like baby ducks! And who wouldn’t want to help a baby duck?

The program was launched by the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge, a nonprofit center that coordinates the needs of wildlife rehabilitation in western North Carolina by providing care for injured and orphaned wildlife.

Here’s how you can participate:

Wash your old wands in warm soapy water to remove any leftover mascara. Then drop them in the mail, along with this form filled out, and send to:

Appalachian Wildlife Refuge
P.O. Box 1211
Skyland, NC 28776

Feel like doing a bit more to help out? Host a Wandraiser with your friends and gather as many mascara wands as you can. And if you don’t have any old mascara wands to send, that’s okay. The Appalachian Wildlife Refuge has a whole wishlist of food and supplies you can send—or simply make a tax-deductible donation online. Whichever way you chose, you will be helping to support a refuge that is dedicated to the welfare of animals in need.

And if you do donate your old mascara wands, you will be providing an incredibly useful tool to ensure the health of animals, with virtually no cost to you since you throw out the old wands anyway. Sounds like a win-win to me.

If you’re located in Canada, there’s a similar program called Project Wild Wands Canada that will help you save a little money on postage.