From colourful floats to cleanups: Creativity and colour were everywhere on Earth Day

 Earth Day is now celebrated in nearly 200 countries.
Earth Day is now celebrated in nearly 200 countries. Copyright Reuters EFE/EPA
Copyright Reuters EFE/EPA
By Charlotte Elton with Reuters
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Earth Day: Watch the video to see how people celebrated around the world.


More than a billion people celebrated Earth Day on Saturday 22 April.

From parades to mass die-ins and four-metre-tall floats, people from 190 different countries got creative to urge politicians to “Invest in Our Planet.”

“This is the moment to change it all!” the Earth Day Network declared.

So how did people celebrate - and protest - the 53rd annual Earth Day?

Recycled art and mass clean-ups

Climate change campaigners gathered worldwide, with volunteers worldwide planting trees and clearing trash to mark the 53rd annual celebration of the environment. In Tabanan, Bali, for example, local activists cleaned up and replanted an illegal landfill.

Volunteers help clean trash from a river in Tabinah, Bali.JOHANNES CHRISTO/REUTERS

Many activists got creative. In Key West, Florida, campaigners launched a huge bicycle parade with 21 sculptural floats created with recycled or repurposed materials.

Massive insects and ostriches rolled down the city’s main street, cheered on by onlookers.

In Lima, Peru, indigenous shamans performed a traditional ritual and made an offer to "Pachamama" (Mother Earth).

Peru's shamans perform a traditional ritual and make an offer to "Pachamama" (Mother Earth) on the eve of "Earth Day", in LimaReuters

Blocking airports and races

Some activists opted for more disruptive tactics.

A climate change protest delayed the start of an all-electric Formula E race at Berlin's Tempelhof airport circuit on Sunday. Activists climbed fences and sat in front of cars lined up on the starting grid.

Letzte Generation (Last Generation) posted a video on Twitter of white T-shirted supporters scaling the wire fence before being carried away by security.

"It's time to slow down. Because we're on the highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator," the group said on Twitter, quoting UN secretary general Antonio Guterres.

In France, protestors marched against the construction of a highway between Castres and Toulouse. Activists claim the project will destroy 2,500 trees.

Packed protests in dozens of cities

Rallies packed out city centres from London to Washington DC on Saturday.

Marchers demanded “an end to the fossil fuel era” and rapid decarbonisation.

Activists from the Extinction Rebellion take part in 'The Big One' event, in LondonReuters

"The reason I'm here is climate pressure, climate pollution, climate change and the climate emergencies causing pressure on the NHS (National Health Service),” said Claudia, a GP who attended Extinction Rebellion ‘The Big One’ protest in London.

“It's leading to lots of worsening of long-term conditions, and air pollution is causing a lot more deaths now and admissions to hospitals, so it's critically important that we address climate change."

Watch the video above to see how people around the world celebrated Earth Day.

Video editor • Joanna Adhem

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