Muslim pilgrims pray at the Grand Mosque, ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
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People traveled across the globe to eat, sleep and pray in unison from Wednesday, as the annual Islamic pilgrimage of hajj got underway in Mecca. For billions of Muslims who are physically and financially able, hajj is a mandatory act of worship. "We make many journeys in our life, and we go to many places, but this is the only journey that's physical, mental and spiritual," said Ali, who is chair of U.K.-based group Muslim Climate Action.She has found many similarities between hajj's message of simplicity and being environmentally conscious, and has tried to minimize her own carbon footprint and waste during the pilgrimage, which lasts for at least six days and takes worshippers to a series of holy sites in Saudi Arabia.Hajj is now the world's largest annual gathering of Muslims.Indonesia – which has the world's largest Muslim population, according to the Pew Research Center – has launched initiatives, from a phone app showing pilgrims how to enjoy a green hajj, to offsetting carbon emissions from flights by planting trees, and limiting the number of times each person can undertake the pilgrimage, Firman said.
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