Earth Day 50

Earth Day was first organized in 1970 to remember and appreciate the environment, and our responsibilities and roles within it. On April 22, 2020, we observe the 50th Earth Day, and though many improvements have been made, environmental challenges remain. In the past five decades, the population of the Earth has more than doubled—more than 75 percent of the people alive today were born after 1970—and the increased demand on our limited resources makes sustainable solutions even more important. Collected here are 31 images of our world from recent years, each a glimpse into some aspect of our environment, how it affects and sustains us, and how we affect it.

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  • Gabriel Bouys / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Plastic Lake, Van Cat, Burning Judas

    Ballet in an empty Syrian market, a forest fire in California, a briefing by the Easter Bunny in the White House, riots in Northern Ireland, a giant sand dune in France, and much more

  • Spencer Grant / Getty

    Boston in the 1970s

    A collection of some of the sights and events taking place in and around Boston from 1970 to 1979

  • Al Drago / Getty

    April Blooms: Spring Is on the Way

    Images from the past few weeks of tulips, sunshine, and cherry blossoms—surely signs of warmer days to come

  • Mladen Antonov / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Worm Moon, Cat Lodge, Red Hearts

    A theme park’s reopening in California, Holi celebrations in India, whale watching in Mexico, a masked rock concert in Barcelona, a snowy Opening Day in Detroit, and much more