Thousands celebrate Earth Day in a run

More than 2,000 people came to Philadelphia to celebrate Earth Day, taking part in the 37th annual Run for Clean Air.

Hosted by the non-profit organization Clean Air Council, step by step, the runners demonstrated they support a cleaner environment.

"Clean Air Council's mission is protecting everyone's right to breathe clean air," said Katie Edwards.

Edwards, with Clean Air Council, said the race is the largest Earth Day, even in Philadelphia. Runner Lia Belardo, of Team Humane League, told FOX 29 this is her fifth Clean Air race. She and many other runners advocate clean living.

"Choosing to omit meat and dairy products in your diet is the biggest impact you can do to reduce our carbon emissions," Belardo said.

"I have three children and one grandchild, so I want this earth to be here for them as they grow older. I don't want them to suffer from illness and diseases that are caused by environmental disasters," Joy Widgeon said.

The non-profit's executive director, Joseph Minott, said Earth Day is a time to reflect on our national commitment to protecting our planet.

"We are going through a little bit of a hard period right now in Washington with proposals to roll back environmental protection, so this is an opportunity for us to come together to celebrate Earth Day, but also to think about the more serious side," Minott explained.

Going green is a personal choice.

"Just yesterday, our team went out and planted trees," said Luis Nel Cuello.

Tiny steps will make a big difference for future generations, and that is the motivation for runner Larissa Matyas, running with her 7-month-old son, Julian.

"As he's growing up, we are gonna instill all the great values. Like, we bike to work, usually and walk a lot in the city," Matyas said.

The run is the largest fundraiser for Clean Air Council. It will raise approximately $120,000, which will help improve public health and clean the environment.