Light pollution is reversible and its solutions are immediate, simple and cost-effective. Here are a few simple things you can do to confront the problem and take back the night:
• Check around home. Shield outdoor lighting, or at least angle it downward, to minimize “light trespass” beyond your property lines. Use light only when and where needed. Motion detectors and timers can help. Use only the amount of light required for the task at hand.
• Star Party! Many astronomy clubs and International Dark Sky Places are celebrating the week by holding public events under the stars.
• Download, Watch, and Share “Losing the Dark,” a public service announcement about light pollution. It can be downloaded for free and is available in 13 languages.
• Talk to neighbors and your community. Explain that poorly shielded fixtures waste energy, produce glare and reduce visibility.
• While you’re out there, take some notes. Become a citizen scientist and collect data about the night sky in your neighborhood for Globe at Night. It’s fun, easy and you’ll be helping scientists across the globe better understand the threat of light pollution to our planet.
• Photograph the sky and enter the 2017 International Earth and Sky Photo Contest, which aims to educate the public about light pollution (contest dates to be announced in early March).
Even though Rachel Maddow has been killing it on MSNBC, turn off the TV and go outside and observe a light-less night sky this week!