21 January, 2022
A group of young parkour enthusiasts in Rennes, France have come up with a novel way to reduce light pollution in their hometown.
Light pollution refers to artificial light in the night environment. This pollutant originates from human activity, but is problematic for both humans and wildlife. Globally, artificial lighting has increased by about 6% year-on-year, but much of this lighting is not necessary. In France, businesses must legally turn off their lights between 1am and 6am, but compliance is patchy at best.
Enter Wizzy Gang, who use parkour skills to turn off outdoor shop lights which have been left on overnight. The members climb walls and perform acrobatic jumps to reach outdoor light switches, for example those on shop signs. This is not about plunging city streets into darkness – the group only turn off signs in areas which are lit by streetlights. In doing so, they hope to raise awareness of light pollution, and the unnecessary energy consumption that goes alongside it.
Their approach appears to be working, with more and more shops in Rennes now switching off their lights at night, and people in other cities copying the group’s guerrilla parkour tactics. We think Wizzy Gang have done a great job of showing how easy it is to reduce light pollution, and we hope those of you with retail buildings remember to turn your outdoor (and indoor!) lights off when you leave at the end of the day.
By Miriam Shovel