The dark side of light: how light pollution affects people and nature

In our modern society, lighting is everywhere. Lighting ensures that we can still enjoy our surroundings in the evening and that we feel safer on the street. But did you know that all that artificial light also has a downside? Light pollution, as this phenomenon is called, is an increasing problem that harms both humans and nature. In this blog you will learn what light pollution exactly is and what adverse consequences it has for us and our environment. In addition, we provide practical tips to combat light pollution and contribute to a more sustainable world. Read on quick!

Lichtvervuiling aarde

What is light pollution?

Light pollution is a form of environmental pollution caused by the unnecessary or excessive use of artificial lighting at night. This can range from brightly lit streets and highways to floodlights that illuminate buildings or soccer fields and billboards that stand out in the dark.

Did you know that the Netherlands, together with Belgium and Puerto Rico, is one of the most enlightened countries in the world? As a result, the Milky Way is almost never visible in the Netherlands. This is unfortunate, but it is not the only effect associated with excessive light use.

The adverse effects of light pollution

Light pollution has negative effects on our health and well-being. One of the biggest consequences is the disruption of our sleeping pattern. Research has shown that excessive exposure to artificial light at night can reduce the production of the hormone melatonin. This can lead to insomnia, reduced sleep quality and disruption of the natural day-night rhythm. The production of melatonin is stimulated by darkness and inhibited by light.

In addition, light pollution can also lead to stress and fatigue in local residents, especially when the lighting remains on for an unnecessarily long time or is too bright. This in turn can lead to an increased risk of other health problems such as headaches and concentration problems.

Light pollution from street lighting

How does light pollution contribute to CO2 emissions?

Light pollution is not only a nuisance to our health and our ability to observe the starry sky, but it also has adverse effects on the environment. One of those consequences is the higher CO2 emissions that come with it. Light pollution indirectly contributes to CO2 emissions, although the effect is not directly related to the burning of fossil fuels as is the case with other sources of emissions.

Leaving lights on unnecessarily leads to wasted energy. We can prevent this by only using lighting where and when it is really necessary. For example, by using motion sensors or time switches.

In addition, the choice of lighting itself also has an impact on the environment. Traditional street lighting often uses energy-consuming lamps. Nowadays, more and more energy-efficient alternatives are available, such as LED lamps. By choosing these sustainable solutions, the emission of CO2 and other greenhouse gases can be reduced.

Light pollution also has indirect effects on nature and the climate. For example, it can influence the migration of animals, the growth of plants and even the life cycle of insects.

Do you want to contribute to reducing light pollution and reducing your ecological footprint? Then visit our website for useful tips and (more) sustainable solutions for disposables!