Since 1970, Earth Day has been celebrated globally on April 22 to help raise awareness about the importance of environmental protection. The protection of the natural nighttime environment is a critical mission that impacts all life on Earth. Right now, more than 80% of the global population lives under light-polluted skies, and the problem has been getting worse. Light pollution has been increasing at about 2% per year–that’s 2x the rate of population growth. You can take a look at how bad the light pollution where you live is with this interactive light pollution map. While it may seem harmless, light pollution has wide-ranging repercussions that are harmful to all living things, including the disruption of wildlife, implications to human health, wasted money and energy, and the erasure of our view of the universe.
The good news is that you can help!
Whether it’s becoming a member, following IDA on social media, signing up for our monthly newsletter, joining our advocate network, or purchasing some IDA merchandise your support helps fuel the global dark-sky movement and the programs and resources that support it.
Become a citizen scientist
Take part in the Globe at Night. This international citizen-science campaign helps raise public awareness about the impact of light pollution by inviting citizen-scientists to measure and submit night sky brightness observations. It’s easy to get involved, and you don’t need any fancy equipment–just a computer, smartphone, or tablet. Plus, it’s available in 28 languages! Learn more here.
Inspect the lighting around your home
You can make a difference at home by making sure that your exterior lighting is dark sky friendly. We have a Dark Sky Friendly Home Certification for just that purpose! The program is based on our “Five Principles For Responsible Outdoor Lighting.” Evaluate the outdoor lighting on your property, take action to improve any fixtures that do not meet the requirements by following the recommendations, confirm your fixtures are dark sky friendly, and submit a simple form. Then, you can download and display your certificate! Take part in our dark sky-friendly home lighting program and certify your home here.
Talk to your friends, family, and neighbors about light pollution
Be a powerful advocate for dark skies in your community! A key piece to reducing light pollution globally is raising awareness about the issue. When people have the correct information, they are empowered to make better decisions. You can find some great resources for approaching these conversations here.
Visit an International Dark Sky Place
There are more than 170 certified International Dark Sky Places located around the world. You can find one near you by using the map here. For tips on visiting one, please check out this blog post.
Find more actions that you can take here.