This morning we received an email from the Nguna-Pele Marine Protected Area in Vanuatu. Apparently, Vanuatu is a tiny Pacific island that runs on batteries (all praise the Energizer Bunny!). The problem is that many people dump their used batteries into the ocean, which among other things damages coral reefs. This is where the Nguna-Pele Marine Protected Area comes in, by encouraging villagers to use rechargeable batteries.

And their campaign has made them a finalist in the The World Challenge, which is brought to you by BBC World & Newsweek, in association with Shell. From The World Challenge website:

It is a competition aimed at finding individuals or groups from around the world who have shown enterprise and innovation at a grass roots level. This competition is all about finding entrepreneurs whose projects are making a difference to communities.

Voting is open until October 16th, and the Nguna-Pele Marine Protected Area obviously wants you to vote for them. But, before you do, you may want to review the other efforts taking place around the world, which include:

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  • Growing chillies to protect crops from elephants (which helps protect the elephants).
  • Selling baskets made by pastoralists which is giving women an income for the first time.
  • Bringing down the cost of eco-friendly pest management using natural predators.
  • Preventing landslides in the Philippines using waste coconut husks.
  • Organic leather.
  • Cleaning up the Maltese coastline by turning cooking fat into a diesel-substitute.
  • Bird-friendly farming in Spain.
  • Employing the unemployed in South Africa.
  • Raising money for charity via weddings.
  • A new method of recycling plastic waste in Ukraine for indestructible roof tiles.
  • Catching and releasing snakes instead of catching and skinning.