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Earth Day around the world (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Published time: April 22, 2012 20:10
Edited time: April 25, 2012 12:34

Volunteers collect waste materials during a commemorative event a day before Earth Day, along the coast of Freedom island in Manila April 21, 2012. Earth Day is commemorated on April 22 every year. (REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo)

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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.

Rubbish and a dead fish are seen on the shore of a creek in Sharjah (	REUTERS/Jumana El-Heloueh)
Rubbish and a dead fish are seen on the shore of a creek in Sharjah ( REUTERS/Jumana El-Heloueh)
A man works at a rubbish dump a day before International Mother Earth Day in Cerro Patacon (	REUTERS/Stringer)
A man works at a rubbish dump a day before International Mother Earth Day in Cerro Patacon ( REUTERS/Stringer)
Volunteers collect waste materials during a commemorative event a day before Earth Day, along the coast of Freedom island in Manila (REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo)
Volunteers collect waste materials during a commemorative event a day before Earth Day, along the coast of Freedom island in Manila (REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo)
Thousands of cyclists hold up their bicycles at Budapest′s city park, at the end of the Critical Mass bicycle ride across the Hungarian capital (REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh)
Thousands of cyclists hold up their bicycles at Budapest's city park, at the end of the Critical Mass bicycle ride across the Hungarian capital (REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh)
A participant in a protective suit, waves banners reading, "No nuclear power", at a parade demanding a stop to all nuclear power plants in Japan as a part of an event for Earth Day in Tokyo (REUTERS/Kim Kyung Hoon)
A participant in a protective suit, waves banners reading, "No nuclear power", at a parade demanding a stop to all nuclear power plants in Japan as a part of an event for Earth Day in Tokyo (REUTERS/Kim Kyung Hoon)