Voices Of Youth

Good to be on the dark side

The holiday season is a great time to deck houses, streets and buildings with a slew of lighting to bring on the feeling of festivity.

However, we should keep in mind that light pollution, which is the excess use of artificial lighting, is rapidly growing and there is a greater demand for light, day and night.

Humans need darkness to replenish themselves and protect their bodies.

Darkness is required to produce the melatonin hormone that prevents the development of certain cancer cells. Too much light can also interfere with our circadian rhythm, which may lead to obesity and depression.

As more Singaporeans work at night, with their lights and computers on, or even use mobile devices before going to bed, we are at risk of detrimental health effects and sleep deprivation due to the lack of darkness.

So, while we enjoy our Christmas trees and the sparkle on the streets this holiday season, let us remember that the skies above have the brightest and most beautiful stars.

Let us not stop the sight of them with light pollution. Perhaps, to close this year, we could switch off the lights we do not need and create a "brighter" place for our Earth, our health and the year ahead.

Naufal Aktsa Midy Efendy, 15, Secondary 3 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 30, 2015, with the headline 'VoicesOfYouth'. Print Edition | Subscribe