The Hidden Key

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Nature
Wondrous, grand
Giving, stunning, hurting
Scarred from lifetimes of deep neglect
Mother

Cities
Powerful, clout
Bustling, swarming, living
Responsible to change the world
Impact

Streetlights
Bright, everywhere
Shining, revealing, welcoming
Needed but right now quite wasteful
Misused

Solar
Gift, prevalent
Powering, driving, innovating
Our world needs to run on solar
Future

 

To tell my story, I decided to write several Cinquain formatted poems and string them together. My final product tells the story of a hurting world in which the key to survival is found in the power of cities. Cities are powerful because of their sheer size and energy, but the innovation to drive our planet forward is much less noticeable: streetlights. Traditional streetlights are vulnerable to natural disasters, powered by dirty fuel, and are inefficient (some estimates say traditional streetlights lose 40% of their light to the sky, as opposed to illuminating the ground).

Meanwhile solar street lights are completely off the grid and are powered from totally renewable energy. All solar street lights use LED light bulbs, which can be up to 70% more efficient. They are extremely resilient, continuing to work during natural disasters while anything connected to the grid is left inoperable. They can even offer a helping hand during these disasters because, if installed correctly, the light post can become a charging station for aid workers and vital equipment.

The simple beauty of solar street lights isn’t that they save money, conserve energy, emit less emissions, or their resilience. The simple beauty of solar street lights is that they are universal. They can be installed in a developed country to replace aging infrastructure or in a developing country in which traditional infrastructure has never existed. This inclusiveness is very rare to find in an innovation, which is why solar street lights could prove to be so important.

In order to properly repair the damage done to the natural environment, cities must use their influence and size to lead the sustainability movement. An integral part of this movement can be achieved through solar street lighting, which if powered by cities, will leave the world a little bit brighter than it was yesterday.

How do you move the Planet Forward? Tweet us @planet_forward or contribute to the conversation with your own story.