BuioMetria Partecipativa will be in M’illumino di Meno 2024. Do you want to be with us?

If you are in a hurry: if you want to collaborate with the BuioMetria Partecipativa (participatory night sky quality monitoring) for the next edition of M’illumino di Meno, please contact bmp@pibinko.org or +393317539228. We also have options for educational/professional training credits.

What is M’illumino di Meno?

The simplest thing is to quote the RAI (Italian public broadcasting company) website. RAI is the organizer of the event:

M’illumino di Meno is the Italian National Day of Energy Saving and Sustainable Lifestyles, which has been promoted by Rai Radio2 with its popular drive-time afternoon show Caterpillar since 2005. The first edition took place on February 16th 2005, when the Kyoto Protocol came into force. That’s when Caterpillar got the idea of asking Rai Radio2 listeners to turn off the lights as a statement of environmental concern: M’illumino di Meno* was born.
Year after year, M’illumino di Meno inspired Rai Radio2 listeners to take action to save the planet: practising circular economy, favoring clean mobility, switching to renewables, supporting reforestation…In 2022 it also became law: the Italian Parliament recognized February 16th as the National Day of Energy Saving and Sustainable Lifestyles.
M’illumino di Meno has now reached its 20th edition and you are all invited to join us on February 16th 2024!
Schools and universities, museums and theatres, companies, associations, public authorities: you may turn off the lights on your buildings, organize a meeting on sustainability, a recycling workshop or a tree-planting happening, hold an acoustic concert, a zero-impact show, a collective walk or bike ride to raise awareness about planet safeguarding…
Anyone, as a private person may cook an anti-waste receipt and have a candlelit dinner, walk or bike to work or to school, plant a tree in their garden… and always switch off their lights.

How does the pibinko.org Network relate to this?

A map of the BuioMetria partecipativa measurements collected by citizens since 2008

The pibinko.org network has a strong environmental engineering foundation. Its coordinator is an environmental engineer and a PhD with over 30 years of international experience. Two more environmental engineers have collaborated for years, and we interact daily with many people who have a sound perception of what energy waste is (farmers, sheperds, forestry engineers, etc.).

Since 2008, when we started the BuioMetria Partecipativa project as a citizen science initiative, we have been invited several times to give presentations at M’illumino di meno events: Rome (2011), Barberino Val d’Elsa (2012) and Monticiano (Siena) -Civitanova Marche (Macerata)-Montieri (Grosseto) (2017). In 2022 the Comune di Scansano (Grosseto) asked us to write an article about this (see link, in Italian).

Via Lattea dal Monte Labro (GR) – foto di Federico Giussani.

3) Since the BMP project based on public gatherings and hand-to-hand sensor exchange, with the various lockdowns our activities on this project had to be reduced, but were not stopped. Furthermore, even during the first lockdown, we continued to keep our participation engine alive by applying it to other fields (namely, the Participatory Lithology project).

4) Having read that this year one of the wishes of M’illumino di Meno is to trigger the networking of different subjects, and to extend the range of activities out of the Italian borders, we considered that we want to be part of the initative, accounting for our track record with the BMP project (and our non-BMP engagement activities):

4.1)  In 2010 we organized a photo contest (Between Dusk and Dawn) which had the participation of over 600 people from 52 countries (see article, in Italian). We still have the mailing list from this event (plus some other 10k direct contacts acquired in time).

Via Lattea vista dalla Rocca di Montemassi (GR) verso sud

4.2) From 2013 to 2016 we have been the Italian representatives in a European-funded project focused on the networking of research organizations on light pollution (with 42 institutions from 16 countries)

4.3) In 2018-2019, in collaboration with the National Research Council in Florence and the University of Pisa we organized an international symposium on the island of Capraia (Capraia Night Sky) and a one-day workshop in Florence for those who could not reach the island (including representatives of environmental agencies from five Italian regions) – see link1 e link2.

4.4) we have an extended network of stakeholders at the national level, including amateur astronomer associations, museums, libraries, parks, dog shelters, and other subjects we have collaborated with over the years. 

4.5) We have received international recognition for our engagement work and for the interdisciplinary approach we use, especially for our art & science stuff with the  Jug Band Colline Metallifere (“Dark Sky Defender” prize by the International Dark Sky Association – 2019 – see article

Lights from the San Galgano Abbey (Siena) – photo by Federico Giussani

4.6) With our Jug Band Colline Metallifere hat we have a song list dedicated to environmental issues (e.g. Fuffi the climate change expert cat, Shackleton on the so-called “ecobonus” grants in Italy, “Il Cielo è di tutti” speaking of the sky, etc). proprio per parlare del cielo ecc.) so we can add a real soundtrack to our activities.

4.7) Since May 2023 we proposed lots of activities and events, so we are now on a communication “wave” (and we have been for months planning international networking activities for 2024, in particular toward Austria in april, and with another mission north of the Alps in June) – see this link.

4.8) The headquarters of Buiometria Partecipativa are in Southern Tuscany. This is an area with a high night sky quality (as you may have seen from some of the shots above). But the main thing is that living here has helped us to develop a very educated feeling about the relationship between light and darkness.

Our call to action

Summing all of this up…as of today the link to propose initiatives for M’illumino di Meno is not yet active, but the managers of the initiative from RAI wrote yesterday that they would be glad of having BuioMetria Partecipativa in their “roster”. At this point, we are extending the invitation to you: if you would like to be part of our BuioMetria Partecipativa initiative on Feb. 16 for M’illumino di meno (and other activities which will follow going towards the warmer months) please contact bmp@pibinko.org or +393317539228.

Last but not least: if you are engineers, architects, environmental scientists or guides: there is the possibility of organizing your contribution to be qualified as educational/training credits. For more information, write to the same contact.

Closing track:

April 2020…Mauro Tirannosauro sings about his experiences with BuioMetria Partecipativa (see full article).