Vote Now for the BBC World Challenge

Better late than never. Voting closes in just under three hours (5 PM GMT) for the BBC World Challenge contest, meant "to reward projects that make a real difference to local communities" with a minimal environmental footprint, and often with a positive impact on the environment. Stow your cynicism about sponsor Shell, last year's inaugural contest was a great success, offering crucial media attention (and even sizable prizes) to the finalists. The winning project, Coconets, used coconut waste to help Filipino villagers fight landslides. Take a look at this year's awesome finalists -- including silicon salvagers in the UK, rural handicrafters in Swaziland, solar panel leasers in Laos, and elephant dung recyclers in Sri Lanka -- and hugg the vote. : : The World Challenge

(Photo: from a project located in Khulna, Bangladesh, fighting the scourge of arsenic contamination in local water sources.)