Ahead of International Dark Sky Week, we’re celebrating the beauty of the night sky at Under Canvas—taking all the steps we can to be better Dark Sky Advocates. Kicking off on Earth Day, April 22 through April 30, 2022 International Dark Sky Week serves to protect the night sky for present and future generations while kick-starting a movement for discovering the night. It may not seem like much but light pollution, defined as excessive, obtrusive, or misdirected artificial light, has far-reaching consequences that greatly harm the environment—from disrupting wildlife and contributing to climate change to wasting energy and blocking our view of the beautiful starry night sky! Join us and learn more about the movement.
Did you know that 80% of Americans cannot see the Milky Way from where they live? Light pollution from cities causes “sky glow” and can extend great distances. Erasing our view of the stars, the effects of light pollution also harm wildlife, waste energy, and disrupt our sleep and circadian rhythm. According to the International Dark Sky Association (IDA), “Light pollution is increasing at a 2x rate of population growth and 83% of the global population lives under a light-polluted sky.” When you stay at Under Canvas, you’re granted the unique opportunity to experience the dark night sky in a different light. At our Bryce Canyon, Moab, Grand Canyon, and Zion locations—Bryce Canyon, Arches, Grand Canyon, and Zion National Parks are all certified Dark Sky Parks—you don’t need a telescope to spot constellations and revel in the sky’s brightest stars. The IDA certifies a park for its exceptional quality of starry nights, protected nocturnal environment, and astronomy-based recreation—parks must retrofit the lights within its boundaries to be night sky friendly, promote education on the values of the night sky, and inspire to address the problem of light pollution within their own communities.
Under Canvas locations are a special place to view the night sky in all its glory due to our commitment to doing our part to reduce light pollution by following guidance from the International Dark Sky Association. By pointing lights down, eliminating glare, dimming and turning lights off when not needed, and choosing warmer color light, we are protecting the nighttime environment, ensuring the safety of our guests, and helping to reconnect you with the night. Follow these steps when you return home to continue doing your part to turn down light pollution and turn up the stars:
- Only use light where it’s needed.
- Only use light when it’s needed and in the amount required. No more than that!
- Make sure to use the lowest light level required and limit it to blue-violet light.
- Utilize time-controlled lighting, like timers and motion sensors.
- Use shielding to target the light so it only spills where it’s needed and nothing beyond that.
Together, these steps will help us to celebrate, learn, and take action to protect the wonder of the sparkling night sky without light pollution. Under Canvas after dark is an incredible, memorable experience that honors the night sky and our onsite teams are happy to assist in spotting stars, constellations, and on those extra clear nights, the Milky Way! Capture an extra special nightscape photo or video from your stay with us? Share it on Instagram @UnderCanvasOfficial during International Dark Sky Week, using #IDSW2022, #DarkSkyWeek, or #DiscoverTheNight.