Planet Ark News - Bringing back the beauty of darkness
Planet Ark News

Bringing back the beauty of darkness

Date: 10-Dec-19
Author: Liam Taylor

The light pollution generated by our cities creates a layer that drowns out all but the brightest of stars at night.

The light pollution generated by our cities creates a layer that drowns out all but the brightest of stars at night.

The Netherlands has launched a national campaign encouraging citizens to turn out the lights and embrace the darkness.

The Nacht van de Nacht (Night of the Night) campaign aims to change lighting habits permanently across the Netherlands. This has the dual benefits of not only reduced power usage, but also allowing residents to see and cherish the beauty of the night sky again. The Netherlands is one of the most well-lit countries of Europe and due to thick light pollution only about 10 percent of the night sky can be seen from Dutch cities.

This year, around 45,000 people took part in 550 diverse activities, including night walks in forests, star gazing sessions, and candlelit dinners. The Nacht van de Nacht organization also holds workshops for the public throughout the year and provides advice to the government, municipalities, and companies on how to dim or turn off lights under the policy: “Dark where possible, light where necessary”.

“What we’re very happy about is, when a company turns its lights off for the night, they start thinking more whether lighting is necessary at all. And we always ask companies to then do it more often—weekly, monthly, even every night,” says Mattheus Bleijenberg, the campaign’s national coordinator.

It might seem small, but satellite images from the past six years that the campaign has been operating reveals a number of Dutch provinces have become noticeably darker. Furthermore, many municipalities are now adopting smarter lighting that is directed downwards, dimmed, and often has a warmer tint.

 

Positive Action

  • To find out more about light pollution in Australia, check out The Astronomical Society’s information page.
  • If you want to contribute to darker skies take the time to reflect on the lights you turn on at night and whether they are necessary. Earth Hour also provides a firm opportunity to consider these actions.

 

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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.


Liam                                              Taylor

Author: Liam Taylor

Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.
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