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Earth Day Celebrated Worldwide, With Local Events

Environmentalists worldwide are celebrating Earth Day on Monday with events highlighting the effects of climate change and ways to protect the environment.

Established in 1970, when the budding environmentalist movement met with high fuel prices and air pollution, the Earth Day has become a day to focus on better practices to preserve the health of the natural world and reduce human impact on it.

Earth Day's official web page says the day was established in 1970 by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson after he witnessed the ravages of the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Protesters against the Vietnam War also used the day as a chance to promote their cause.

Many Earth Day events are locally generated, and in many cases they involve community cleanup efforts at beaches, river watersheds, or other natural areas.

In Washington, residents are taking part in an effort to clean up the litter around the Anacostia River, a chronically polluted area. On the U.S. National Mall, students have been competing in a contest for environmental improvement programs.

In Veracruz, Mexico, volunteers are cleaning beaches and have organized a reforestation campaign.

In Jalandhar, India, a local organization has distributed free tree saplings to students for planting.

And in Seoul, South Korea - home to Gangnam Style pop sensation Psy - environmental advocates organized a dance event in which participants form a "flash mob" in response to a Gangnam Style song variation dubbed "Eco-style."