Earth Day 2012: How the World Celebrates

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Pete Ryan / National Geographic / Getty Images

Some say environmentalism and “going green” are little more than fleeting trends. Others even argue that so-called “eco-fads” are actually exacerbating environmental problems rather than alleviating them. But whether you’re an eco-supporter or an eco-skeptic, today is still Earth Day. So join us as we cozy up on our eco-friendly moss carpet, put on our favorite eco-friendly solar-powered fan hats and take a look at the Earth Day celebrations across the globe.

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Malang, Indonesia: Environmental activists paraded through the streets to commemorate Earth Day, holding up plastic bottles in protest of environmentally unsound practices.

New York City: This weekend, volunteers gathered for a fifth-annual tree planting event organized by JetBlue Airways and an initiative known as MillionTreesNYC. Though the group hosts events throughout the year, MillionTreesNYC hoped to plant 100 trees to commemorate Earth Day this weekend.

Tokyo, Japan: As part of the city’s Earth Day festivities, residents paraded through the streets in protest of nuclear power plants. Participants carried a large carp-shaped wind sock, which symbolizes good health for children.

Manila, Philippines: Workers replaced broken LED lights on a large bronze globe outside a mall. At night, the illuminated globe will serve as the centerpiece of an Earth Day celebration, in the hopes of bringing attention to environmental concerns.

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras: Volunteers participated in a reforestation program at the Rosy Walter Zoo in central Honduras. The program was part of a series of environmental initiatives across Central America to commemorate Earth Day.

Washington, D.C.: Earth Day enthusiasts hoping to “mobilize the Earth” headed to the National Mall for a day-long celebration of all things environmental. Musical acts included Ron Holloway and Cheap Trick, and other attractions included a variety of speeches and demonstrations.

Budapest, Hungary: Each year, residents take part in a Critical Mass cycling event to commemorate Earth Day. The first ride was organized in 2004 on a day deemed “Car Free Day” and eventually transformed into an Earth Day tradition. With thousands and thousands of people turning out each year, the Budapest event has broken international records.

Barcelona, Spain: Tourists and residents alike took part in a series of celebrations of La Mare Terra (“Mother Earth” in Catalan). The main event, the Fira per la Terra (“the Festival for the Earth”), didn’t necessarily promote an environmentalist agenda, but it did offer a variety of delicious Spanish meats.

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