Tens of millions of people across the world have taken part in the world’s foremost environmental festival – Earth Day. But organizers say any festivities should be laced with a warning.
From teach-ins to tree-planting to demonstrations, the day was commemorated by a network of independent local events inspired by the occasion.
Dutch electronics giant Philips marked Earth Day by unveiling a new environmentally-friendly LED light bulb in the US that can last for more than a decade. Despite a hefty initial $60 price tag, makers say the bulb will save money over its lifetime.
Instigated by a US senator in 1970 in response to an oil spill before being taken up by the United Nations, Earth Day was at the heart of the budding environmental movement. As environmental legislation has become more stringent, and the issues at stake more nuanced, some have dismissed Earth Day as little more than a gimmick, but organizers say it can be used to present a strong position on global issues.
This year they are asking participants to “mobilize the Earth” in the fight against man-made climate change, which they call a disaster.
Only celebrated since the fall of the Soviet Union, Earth Day remains a relatively exotic occasion in Russia. Nevertheless, participation has been growing yearly, with more and more events organized outside the largest cities.