Earth Day 2014

First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day events are held across the globe to inspire us to appreciate the world we live in and protect our environment. Conservation of natural resources, ending pollution, protecting wildlife, and creating sustainable environments are some of the themes spread among many countries. [18 photos total]

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The planet Earth is seen in a photo taken by NOAA's GOES-East satellite at 07:45EST (11:45GMT) on Earth Day, April 22. (NOAA via Reuters) #
A Greater Adjutant Stork flies by a woman looking for recyclable items at a garbage dump on Earth Day, on the outskirts of Gauhati, India. (Anupam Nath/Associated Press) #
A window washer hangs on a rope on the walls of the Ashton Morph 38 apartment building covered in a vertical garden of a native green creeper called Laurel clock vine, also known as the Blue trumpet vine, used also in traditional medicine, in Bangkok, Thailand, April 22. This year's global theme is Green Cities, encouraging residents to turn their cement cities into green and sustainable environments. (Barbara Walton/EPA) #
A traffic policeman signals to drivers during a smoggy day in Harbin, Heilongjiang province. Smog-hit China is set to pass a new law that would give Beijing more powers to shut polluting factories and punish officials, and even place protected regions off-limits to industrial development, scholars with knowledge of the situation said. Long-awaited amendments to China's 1989 Environmental Protection Law are expected to be finalized later this year, giving the Ministry of Environmental Protection greater authority to take on polluters. (China Daily/Reuters) #
A South African boy drops glass into a community recycling bin in Cape Town, South Africa, April 22, on World Earth Day. (Nic Bothma/EPA) #
Ivorians bathe in a polluted body of water that flows through the Ebrie Lagoon in Abidjan on April 19. The level of pollution in the lagoon has increased in recent years due to the discharge of sewage from nearby urban areas. (Sia Kambou/AFP/Getty Images) #
Aceh students with their bodies coated in mud roll a globe symbolizing the Earth during an Earth Day celebration in Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh province on April 22. The protesters were demanding the protection and preservation of Indonesia's forests that are rapidly being converted in palm oil and agricultural plantations threatening the survival of endangered species. (Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP/Getty Images #
Pump jacks and wells are seen in an oil field on the Monterey Shale formation where gas and oil extraction using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is on the verge of a boom on March 23, near McKittrick, California. Critics of fracking in California cite concerns over water usage and possible chemical pollution of ground water sources as California farmers are forced to leave unprecedented expanses of fields fallow in one of the worst droughts in California history. (David McNew/Getty Images) #
Peyton Toney, left, Jordan Cameron, Ellis Lyles and Victor Levingston, all second graders at Northwest Elemenatary School in El Dorado, Ark., transplant zinnias into planter boxes that they grew from seeds in their greenhouse on the school's campus, , April 21, in El Dorado, Ark., as part of Earth Day Week activities. (Michael Orrell/The El Dorado News-Times via Associated Press) #
Scavengers on boats salvage plastic waste for recycling on the Citarum river choked with garbage in Cihampelas district in West Java province, April 13. This immense aquatic rubbish bin winds 297 kilometres (185 miles) across the island of Java, cutting through the sprawling Indonesian capital Jakarta. Labelled "the most-polluted in the world" by a local commission of government agencies and NGOs charged with its clean-up, the river is the only source of water for 15 million Indonesians who live on its banks, despite the risks to health and crops. (TIMUR MATAHARI/AFP/Getty Images) #
Afghan laborers lay new turf along a roadside in Kabul on April 22. Afghanistan marks Earth Day on April 22 as the country struggles to stop the long-running process of deforestation caused by increased demand for timber and firewood. Soil erosion caused by deforestation often triggers floods in parts of the country and to cope with the problem, the government plants trees during spring every year - but maintaining them remains a mamoth task. (Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images) #
In this combination of two separate images, the skyline of the Central Business District shows the air quality in the morning, top, and evening, bottom, on April 1, 2014 in Beijing, China. More then 7 million people die worldwide every year due to air pollution and it is now the 'single largest environmental health risk,' the U.N. health agency stated in a recent report. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images) #
Activists of the international environmentalist organization Greenpeace pose with posters in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, April 13, to support clean energy. After a one week meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in Berlin, the final document is expected to say that a global shift to renewable energy from fossil fuels like oil and coal are required to avoid potentially devastating sea level rise, flooding, droughts and other impacts of warming. (Michael Sohn/Associated Press) #
Giant machines dig for brown coal at the open-cast mining Garzweiler near the city of Grevenbroich, western Germany on April 3. After concluding that global warming is almost certainly man-made and poses a grave threat to humanity, the U.N.-sponsored expert panel on climate change is moving on to the next phase: what to do about it. (Martin Meissner/Associated Press) #
A broken beach pale lays waste as the sun rises , days after a BP announcement that it is ending its "active cleanup" on the Louisiana coast from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, on April 19, in Grand Isle, Louisiana. The Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers and spilling millions of gallons of oil. (Sean Gardner/Getty Images) #
A Sri Lankan quarry worker takes a wash in a pool of stagnant rainwater at a stone quarry on Earth Day in Athurugiriya, on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka, April 22. People across the globe hold events to celebrate the Earth's environment and spread awareness on how to conserve its natural resources on Earth Day. (Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press) #
Kashmiri women row a boat filled with weed after cleaning the Dal Lake on Earth Day, on the outskirts of Srinagar, India, April 22. The weed-clogged Dal Lake is central to Kashmirís tourist trade and efforts are being made to rescue the lake. In the past two decades the lake has shrunk by more than half, according to environmental study reports. (Dar Yasin/Associated Press) #
A girl reads a book on her balcony as smoke rises from chimneys of a steel plant, on a hazy day in Quzhou, Zhejiang province April 3. China's plan for a market in air pollution permits promises to help clean up its air cheaply, but the move could prove just as useless as previous environmental policies unless the government stamps out lax enforcement and spotty data. (Reuters) #

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