Today marks the 44th Annual Earth Day. Observed in more than 175 countries, Earth Day helps inspire people across the globe to help protect the ecosystem and raise awareness about sustainable practices.
To celebrate Guinness World Records has compiled a list of extraordinary feats aimed at preserving the environment:
• Largest solar-powered boat - Tûranor PlanetSolar, pictured above, measures 31 m (101 ft) long – or 35 m (114 ft) with flaps extended. It has a beam, or width, of 15 m (49 ft) – 23 m (75 ft) with flaps – and a displacement of 85 tonnes (93 tons). The catamaran's upper surface is covered in 537 m2 (5,780 ft2) of solar panels, allowing the vessel to be powered by solar energy alone.
• Highest-capacity wind farm - Covering an area of almost 400 km 2 (100,000 acres), Roscoe Wind Farm in Texas, USA, has 627 wind turbines and can generate up to 781.5 megawatts (MW) of power.
• Most Bottles Recycled by a Dog - A Labrador called Tubby, owned by Sandra Gilmore in the UK, has helped recycle an estimated 26,000 plastic bottles over the past six years by collecting them on his daily walks, crushing them, and passing them to his owner.
• Largest collection of clothes to recycle – The most items of clothing collected for recycling is 117,376 and was achieved by shopping centre owners Multi Mall Management (Portugal) in Montijo, Lisbon, Portugal in 2012.
The clothes were donated by members of the public and collected during a six week period.
• Oldest alternative fuel - In medieval Europe, around 1500 AD, the overuse of wood for burning began to lead to general shortages due to deforestation. Around this period Europeans started to shift to burning coal instead of wood, the first time in human history that an alternative fuel was adopted because of shortages of conventional fuel.
• Most steel cans collected in one month - The most steel cans collected in one month is 2,656,284, weighing over 182,827 lbs and was achieved by Collect-a-Can in South Africa, between October 1-31 2010.
• Most Trees Planted in an Hour by a Team – The April 29, 2012 saw a team of 100 people plant 40,885 trees in the Kokrajhar District of Assam in India. The feat was achieved by the Haltugaon Forest Division, Kokrajhar in partnership with the Indian 135 Infantry Battalion (TA) Eco Task Force and 15th Battalion the Dogra Regiment.
• Greenest City – Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, UAE, designed by the British architect firm Foster and Partners, is the world’s first city designed to be zero-carbon and zero-waste. All of its power is generated from renewable resources, and all waste material is recycled. Automobiles are banned in favor of electric, driverless, underground vehicles, so the city’s projected 50,000 citizens should leave no carbon footprint.
• Largest sculpture of plastic bags - The largest sculpture made of plastic bags consists of 68,000 plastic bags in the shape of an octopus. The sculpture was constructed by over 200 student volunteers for the Ci Yuan Community Centre Youth Executive Committee (Singapore) at the National Youth EnvirOlympics Challenge, Singapore, on 20-21 April 2012.
• Largest environmental conservation organisation – Since it was officially formed and registered as a charity on September 11, 1961, the WWF-World Wide Fund For Nature has become the world's largest and most experienced independent conservation organization, with around 5 million supporters worldwide. The WWF is a truly global network, working in more than 90 countries.