What efforts can you take as an individual to take control of escalating electricity and energy costs in your home or cottage? A local cottager, and member of the Dysart et al Environment and Green Energy Committee, took up the challenge to reduce consumption using his cottage as a test case. Take a few minutes to watch and maybe you’ll pick up some tips that you can use today to save energy and money in the future.

Lakeside Living

CONSERVE - a Cottage Story:

How to Talk to Your Neighbour Who Has a Bad Light

Here's a typical scenario: your neighbours have just installed a dusk-to-dawn 175W mercury vapor light fixture because they are worried about security. You can see what happened: they went down to the discount supply house and said something like "Give me the brightest, cheapest outdoor lighting fixture you have." And that's exactly what they got, paying "only" $29.95 (maybe even less). They brought it home and hung it up. Now it's splattering light everywhere, including onto your lawn and in through your windows. They have their blinds drawn, of course, because they can't stand the glare either.

What did they get? A very bright light that emits very little light control and lots of glare. It produces lots of light trespass, light pollution, and energy waste. They probably now have a "feeling of security". Real security is probably no better than before.

Here are some ideas on what you can do: First and foremost, be tactful and understanding. Don't argue. Approach them in a friendly way. They are worried about their security and safety. They tried to do something about it. Don't tell them to shut off their light because it bothers you. They won't, and you will likely have hardened their position.

Make positive approaches. Help them solve their problems. Offer alternatives. Be flexible to the local needs. Ask for their advice in solving your problem. Most people really like to be helpful, when they can. Let them know how. Be prepared to compromise, but always keep the overall goal in mind. You want and need dark skies, and no light trespass. You also want a secure and safe nighttime environment, just as they do. You want to help the country save energy and money. Show that you care, for all of those things in general, for your sky, and for them.

Help Preserve Our Night Sky: