RCA is working together with our friends at Portland Audubon to raise awareness about light pollution. On September 15 turn off your non-essential lights from dusk to dawn, and then to go outside and check out the night sky! Iconic buildings all around Portland will be going lights out to raise awareness about light pollution, including the Fox Tower, the Wells Fargo Tower, OMSI, Bonneville Power Administration, 200 Market, the 911 Federal Building, Montgomery Park, Holladay Park, City of Portland buildings, and 1201 Lloyd! The Lloyd EcoDistrict is cosponsoring the launch event with their own district effort: LightsOut Lloyd PDX.
RCA members appreciate dark skies for the celestial marvels they bring. Portland Audubon has long been concerned about light pollution and its effects on birds that use the stars to navigate while migrating. Light Pollution lures birds into cities where they are at risk of colliding with windows. Across the United States, up to 1 billion birds die every year as a result of hitting a window. What’s more, nearly 80 percent of North Americans, including Portlanders, live in places from which they cannot see our home galaxy, the Milky Way.
What can you do?
- On September 15, turn off the lights at home and get out somewhere to see the stars!
- Do a home audit of your lighting and make sure that your outdoor lights are well-shielded. When converting to LED, make sure to select warm bulbs (under 3,000 Kelvin). Turn off your outdoor lights when you’re not using them, and talk to your boss/building manager at work about ways to minimize unnecessary nighttime lighting at work.
Light pollution is reversible! The goal of the LightsOut Portland campaign is to reduce Light Pollution in the metro area by getting buildings and households to reduce unnecessary lighting, especially during spring and fall migration when birds are at greatest risk.
Want to make a bigger commitment? Take the Pledge to go Lights Out!