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Purple Press

Purple Press

Is Light Pollution Bad?

Have you ever looked up at the clear night sky and wondered “where are all the stars?’”? I myself have asked this question many times before and today I’m going to tell you what I’ve learned. The thief of our beautiful night sky is light pollution. You’ve probably heard of earth pollution which includes things like trash, but no one really talks about light pollution. Pollution is defined as “the presence in or introduction into the environment of a substance or thing that has harmful or poisonous effects.” by the Oxford Languages. This “thing” in our case would be light. Light pollution is not a natural thing, it’s caused by big cities with a lot of light at night. This is why when you’re in the middle of nowhere you can see the stars very clearly but if you’re in a big city you cant. 


What is really that bad about light pollution? It’s bad that we cant see the stars but we have to make sacrifices right? Except that we aren’t just sacrificing the viewing of our stars, we’re also sacrificing our health. According to Southampton Town , NY (.gov) light exposure at night may increase our risk of obesity, diabetes, mood disorders, reproductive problems and cancers.” (2). So if you’re out late at night driving or decide to take a breath of fresh air at night you could disrupt your sleep cycle, tricking your brain into thinking it’s morning when it’s not. It’s also bad for wildlife that is preyed on during the night, if these animals happen to be in a city during the night they are more likely to be spotted and preyed on.


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So what can we do to prevent and stop light pollution? First of all we can get more coverage for lights. Instead of having lights that don’t have any hoods or have very slight ones, we can have lights that have large hoods so that the light only goes downward instead of polluting the sky. We can also install motion detecting lights on things like highways during the night so when people don’t need the light it doesn’t have to be on. We can do the same with streets and parks. This has an added bonus of extra safety because if you’re walking or driving  late at night and a light turns on behind or in front of you, you know someone is there.


This prevention seems great but what can you do as just another everyday citizen to stop this issue? For starters you can take a look at your backyard, you can see if you can add motion detecting lights or add hoods to your lights. You can also write a letter to the town that you live in and ask them to put hoods on the lights in your neighborhood or town, or even ask if motion detecting lights is attainable for them. And the last, most important thing you can do is talk about it, tell your friends about this issue and encourage them to do what I’ve asked of you. Afterall change starts with one person. 


If you would like to learn more about pollution you can check out Isabella Rengusos article on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch or Abbie Landers article on Air Pollution.

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