Have you ever noticed the difference between the night sky in the city versus the night sky out in the middle of nowhere? People used to be able to look up at the sky and see millions of stars shining down on them. Today the use of artificial light does not allow us to experience seeing the milky way up above us the way those before us did. The increased used of artificial light has taken away our ability to see our universe and is affecting our environment, safety, energy consumption, and our health. Light pollution can sound sort of odd, considering most of us are only aware of different types of pollution such as air, water, and land pollution. Light, however, is also a pollutant.
Light pollution is the excessive use of artificial light, which can negatively affect our environment, humans, wildlife, and climate. Light pollution can lead to light trespass, which is light falling where it is not intended or needed, as well as clutter, which is bright, confusing, and excessive groupings of light sources. Artificial lights overpower the darkness. The glow of cities at night disrupts the natural day-night pattern and shifts the balance of the environment. Evidence shows that a brightening night sky has direct negative impacts such as, increasing energy consumption, disruption the ecosystem and wildlife, harming human health, and effecting crime and safety. The concern of light pollution has led scientist, environmental groups, and others to take action in restoring the natural night. The good news is that unlike other forms of pollution, light pollution is reversible. We can each make a difference by minimizing the light from your homes at night. Spread the word and tell others to pass it on so that we may be on our way to a clear and beautiful night sky!
The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). (2017, February 13). Retrieved from http://darksky.org/light-pollution/