It was a beautiful, mid-August night, and the evening sky should have been filled with stars. Instead, when Ray Zestman went out on his porch to take in some fresh air, and looked up, he saw only light pollution and glare. Where were the sharp, metallic stars that he remembered from his childhood growing up in Maine? Maybe his wife was right. Maybe greener living would improve his mood. A couple of stars on a summer evening were not too much to ask for.
Veronica Zestman was not a hippie, nor was she really a nature girl. In fact, she was known to wear fur on special occasions, a true hippie no-no, as well devour a medium rare sirloin on those Friday nights when she and her husband went out to dinner. She was, however, an avid reader, and Veronica’s latest interest was how to successfully create an eco-friendly environment. It was no longer just a remodeling job that their house needed, but a remodeling job that was in accordance to healthy living, greater energy output, lower electric bills, and an overall global awareness. Besides, Veronica said, ”summer stars are like nature’s lightbox.”
She informed Ray about Hinkley Lighting Gallery, and the beauty and efficiency of Dark Sky light fixtures. Ray had been complaining all summer that he could not see the stars from the porch; first it was car pollution, then smog, now it was solar pollution that ruined the evening. She backed up her arguments with facts, details, and examples. She told Ray that the entire city of Boston was replacing its mercury-vapor street lamps with Dark Sky light fixtures; the city would not only improve its light pollution, but save several million dollars in electricity costs.
Ray, being rigid and set in his ways, was skeptical about new technology. He was like many other modern Americans: relentlessly old school. However, as summer came to a close and the first hint of autumn arrived, and Ray Zestman had still not seen a single star in the night sky, he gave in to his wife’s suggestions and went green.