Open Source: Please distribute, modify, use, help get the word out. (Something I wrote and included during youth outreach presentations)
Imagine growing up without being able to see flowers, trees, birds, or any other aspect of nature. (discuss what that would be like with the students; talk about other forms of pollution and what people are doing to address pollution of earth, ocean, air). Now imagine not being able to see and ponder the wonders of our beautiful starry night sky. Yet light pollution is preventing us from doing just that! (explore this w/students q/a: what is light pollution?)
Scientists say nearly two-thirds of the United States population can no longer see the Milky Way and most people will never know the splendor of a star filled night sky. Along the Fairfield County shoreline, they can only see 100 of the 2,600-plus stars that should be visible on a clear night. In the Litchfield Hills area we can see considerably more than that.(explore w/students)
This is a curable problem that can be prevented through consideration and thoughtful behavior by families.
( NOTE: PLEASE emphasize the following paragraphs about Light trespass to the students. This is a great way for them to contribute to society and make a BIG difference! )
When someone else's lights shine onto your property and through your windows at night, it is called Light Trespass.(explore w/students) You can make a big difference in the elimination of this form of light pollution by turning off your outdoor lights when you go indoors and by using sensor motion detection lighting. (explore w/students)
Light pollution affects our Safety
Not only is Light Trespass a nuisance; it can also affect your safety. Security lighting that remains on all night draws absolutely no attention. More often than not, criminal acts occurring on such a property will go unnoticed because anyone seen there is usually perceived as belonging there. Instead, use of sensor motion detection lighting causes an immediate change of the surrounding environment that will drive most people with ill intent away. It also raises immediate attention to the area from both neighbors and law enforcement officials.
Light pollution affects our Health
Light pollution affects our nighttime visual acuity and blinds us with glare adversely affecting the safety of drivers and pedestrians. When artificial illumination from poorly aimed and unshielded light fixtures shines glare into our windows at night, it robs us of our right to a good night of sound sleep.
Light pollution affects our relationship with Nature
Light Trespass also prevents you from using your property outdoors at night when wishing to gaze at the stars or view through a telescope or binoculars. It is an unwelcome violation of our space. Light pollution also affects animals and has an impact on their natural and instinctual habits. (explore w/students)
What government is doing about Light Pollution
Light Trespass Ordinances: Light Trespass is against the Law in towns and cities in many States - including Branford and Tolland here in Connecticut. And more communities around the Nation are now adopting comprehensive outdoor lighting ordinances in order to control the appearance and improve nighttime safety and security in areas under their jurisdiction too.
State and Local Roads: A new Law went into effect in Connecticut in 2001. It requires all new and replacement streetlights on both state and local roads to have shielded fixtures. This will help to cut down on light pollution tremendously but it does not address light pollution caused by Light Trespass - light that crosses property lines. Eliminating Light Trespass is up to families, businesses, and you!
Eliminating Light Pollution
The view of the pristine dark sky with thousands of bright stars will become visible through the application of responsible night time lighting: by shielding our outdoor lighting, aiming it downward to the ground, using only as much as needed for the task, and by turning it off when we go indoors.
~* Please turn off outdoor lighting when you go indoors. *~
Eliminating light pollution begins with you!