Why protect our dark skies?
The use of artificial light contributes to the issue of light pollution. As a result of excessively bright and inefficient outdoor lighting, light pollution is seriously impacting: wildlife, humans, and the night sky.
Animals have depended on our planet’s natural light and dark cycle for millions of years for survival purposes, such as sleeping, reproducing, and eating. Because artificial light decreases the darkness of the nighttime sky, it has critical consequences on these behaviors. Decreasing our night sky’s darkness affects both nocturnal and diurnal species, which in turn effects the entire ecosystem.
Just like the other earth inhabitants, humans also rely on the planet’s natural day and night schedule. Artificial light negatively affects our circadian rhythm, which can lead to various disorders due to the affect on our body’s ability to naturally produce melatonin at nighttime to keep us healthy.
Our safety is also compromised from outdoor lighting that does not follow the ideal Dark Sky Lighting tips. In the photo, you can see that fully-shielding light bulbs and directing light downwards results in a more safely lighted area, rather than areas with too much light that cause glare.
Here in Camp Verde, we can look up to the sky on a clear night and see an abundance of stars and constellations. However, only 20% of the United States has the luxury of seeing the Milky Way, which is a prominent part of Camp Verde’s Dark Sky and has contributed to the cultural experience in Camp Verde. The closer you drive to a big city with bright lights, the less likely your chances become of looking up and being in absolute awe of the beautiful night sky.