Each year on April 22, people all over the world celebrate Earth Day. Earth Day began in 1970 as an effort to promote awareness of air and water pollution.

It was hugely successful and eventually led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species acts.

Since then, Earth Day has grown each year. Today, it is an annual celebration that promotes a wide variety of environmental issues around the globe. The theme of Earth Day 2011 is Billion Acts of Green®.

Organizers hope to motivate people and companies around the world to pledge to perform 1 billion acts that help reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainability. Acts can be simple, like washing laundry in cold water or turning off lights when they’re not in use. Small, individual, everyday acts can add up to a huge difference when performed by millions of people around the world.

Protecting the Earth is important. It’s the only home you’ve got… and what a spectacular home it is! From the depths of the Grand Canyon to the peak of Mount Everest, the Earth offers a breathtaking array of natural wonders.

If you’ve ever heard of the Seven Wonders of the World, you’re probably aware that the list includes things like the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The Seven Wonders of the World were actually man-made structures that impressed the ancient Greeks as they traveled the world.

As impressive as these man-made structures were, they can’t hold a candle to the works of Mother Nature. A new global democratic initiative is under way to urge people around the world to vote for their favorite natural wonders in order to assemble a new Seven Wonders of Nature.

The Official New7Wonders of Nature campaign is in its final phase in which the final seven natural wonders will be chosen by an estimated 1 billion votes. The Official Declaration of the New7Wonders of Nature will be on November 11, 2011 (11/11/11).

So what are some of the natural wonders of the world vying for a spot in the top seven? Browse a map of the world to check out the 28 finalists that have been chosen from more than 440 nominations from more than 220 countries around the world. Be sure to cast your vote in this global democratic process!

Here is a small sampling of a few of the natural wonders the Earth has to offer:

You can also check out the animals and flowers and plants you’ll find near the 28 natural wonders. Have fun exploring the natural wonders of the world!

 

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