The Atlanta Audubon Society has announced that they will be working with the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge (ABBC) to create a new, voluntary program called Lights Out Atlanta. The program hopes to educate people about reducing the number of bird deaths in Atlanta due to unnecessary light use.
According to the Atlanta Audubon Society, an estimated 350 million to 1 billion birds die in the United States every year due to building collision. Because most birds migrate at night, brightly lit cities, such as Atlanta, can confuse and disorient birds in migration causing them to fly straight into buildings. Indoor shrubs and plants placed near brightly lit windows can also confuse birds, causing increased incidents.
Lights Out Atlanta aims to encourage people to turn off or reduce artificial light use, whether in homes or commercial buildings, during peak migration periods. Participants will take a pledge to reduce non-essential lighting during the spring and fall migration period of March 15 to May 31 and Aug 15 to Nov 15. The goal of the program is not to create a darkened city during evening hours, but to create a safe path in Atlanta for birds passing through the city at night.
People, not just birds, can benefit from Lights Out Atlanta. By turning off unnecessary lights participants will reduce the amount of electricity in use, and as a result, the costs of energy bills will be lower and people will be implementing sustainable practices into their daily lives.