Water pollution, air pollution, and even noise pollution have been on everyone’s radar for some time now – but many do not know that light pollution is a cause for concern too.
Light pollution is essentially the excessive use of artificial light to the detriment of the environment through increased energy consumption and the disruption of the ecosystem. Never mind the fact that it makes appreciating the night sky in all of its glory practically impossible, forcing most tourists with star gazing on the agenda to travel miles and miles to remote locations to fully appreciate our impressive skies and the elusive Milky Way.
The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) is shedding light on the problem
Founded in 1988, the IDA is a non-governmental organisation on a mission to conserve the night sky and educate people and organisations all about the reasons why it’s vital to do so while, most importantly, teaching them how to go about it. Environmentally responsible outdoor lighting is key in resolving the problem – a problem that continues to worsen as a result of rapid global development and industrial civilisation.
The IDA’s website, www.darksky.org, offers easy access to several resources detailing solutions and strategies for alleviating the growth of excessive and wasteful lighting. The website also makes it possible for interested parties to participate in various programmes, including the NGO’s flagship programme, the International Dark Sky Places Program, founded in 2001 to encourage communities, parks, and protected areas around the world to preserve and protect dark sites through responsible lighting polices and public education.
Those who develop a new-found passion for conserving the night sky can also opt to become dark-sky advocates, where they’ll be invited to participate in monthly advocate meetings and join the organisation’s communication platform to connect with and learn from other passionate advocates around the world.
How to play your part
Individuals are encouraged to spread the word and shine some light on the topic of light pollution at every possible opportunity, whether in talks with friends and family or by approaching superiors in the workplace.
It’s also a must to investigate what dark-sky friendly lighting to purchase by checking out the official Fixture Seal of Approval database.
Other helpful tips to keep in mind:
- Only use lighting when and where it’s needed
- If safety is concern, install motion detector lights and timers
- Properly shield all outdoor lights
- Keep your blinds drawn to keep light inside