Many business owners and building managers are unaware that they can improve bird safety and save money, while ensuring public safety, by limiting light pollution.  You can send an email (see below) with tips on simple actions they can take.

Email Template

To Local Businesses

TO: [business owner or building manager]

CC: lights-out-colorado@darksky.org

FROM: [you]

SUBJECT: Migratory birds and [name of business or building]

Dear _______,

My name is ______ and I’m a member of your community.  I’m writing to encourage you to participate in Lights Out Colorado (https://lights-out-colorado.idacolorado.xyz/) in order to save birds, energy, and money. 

Many birds migrate at night using natural light cues like the moon and stars.  Bright lights and sky glow can confuse them, causing some to collide with windows and walls or circle in confusion until exhaustion overcomes them.

Fortunately, a simple thing like turning out lights can help birds navigate our night skies and protect them from unnecessary harm. A landmark study conducted by the Field Museum in Chicago showed that by turning the lights off in one building, the number of birds killed there dropped by over 80 percent.

How can you help?  Please participate in Lights Out Colorado by doing the following:

  • Turn off unnecessary lighting (especially near the tops of buildings)
  • Use timers or motion sensors
  • Make sure external lighting is shielded (to avoid light shining upward)
  • Dim or extinguish lobby or atrium lighting

It is particularly important to take these measures as early as possible; most migrating birds take flight shortly after sunset, during spring and fall migration periods (April-May and August-September).

In addition to helping birds, these efforts also reduce your energy usage and save money.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this request.  As a neighbor, I appreciate you considering making these simple changes which can really help birds!

 

Sincerely,

[your name]

[your city, state, and zip]

Notes about the template:

TO: If you know a single person who is the decision-maker, that’s often more effective than addressing the entire business in general.

CC: include “lights-out-colorado@darksky.org– so we can send a follow-up email.

Signature area: Include your city.  Businesses will be more sensitive to the concerns of neighbors. Once you have started the conversation with this first email, we’ll send a follow-up.

Thank you for speaking up for birds and trying to help them on their tough migration journeys! If you know others that would be willing to also speak, please consider sharing this opportunity with them.