INTERNATIONAL DARK SKY WEEK 2016 IS APRIL 4-10!
What does this have to do with running? Although most runners and walkers occasionally use treadmills and indoor tracks to work out, most of us spend a lot of time outdoors and greatly value the natural beauty of the world about us. We appreciate an environment that is as free of pollution as is possible, whether we live in urban, suburban, rural, or wilderness areas. Light is another form of pollution of the night sky that can be harmful to human, animal, bird, marine, and insect life.
Read what the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) has to say about it this week at http://www.darksky.org. Think about the outdoor lighting on your home, and in the parks and trails you visit for running and recreation. Does it confine illumination to the intended areas for the intended use, or throw light upward indiscriminately into the sky, while serving no useful purpose?
In my experience, wonderful people who would otherwise be horrified to learn they were contributing to pollution of the water or air are reluctant to change night sky-polluting habits. This is likely because replacing lighting can be expensive and it's not recognized that light is a night sky problem. In one neighborhood in which we lived there were lovely old-fashioned streetlamps that were on 24/7; they shone mercilessly into all areas of our home, since we were on a corner. In another city the neighbor’s garage floodlight lit up the bedrooms at the back of our house all night. Our response was to put in room darkening shades and wear eyeshades to sleep.
The least costly, first step toward reducing light pollution will be to educate and increase awareness that a problem exists. Check out the information on the IDA website. There are activities in the State of Michigan ( I could not readily find others) ; check locally to see if something's going on in your state this week that may be near your location. If you have not seen the Milky Way in recent memory, make that a summer priority. Once you see what you’re missing, taking action might seem more important.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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