Washington Homeowners Live in Modern Village

The neighborhood in northwest Washington D.C. looks like a typical American townhouse development, but Takoma Village Cohousing is anything but ordinary. The privately-owned units cluster around a shared open space, and the 80 or so residents share a common building with a kids’ playroom, study room, laundry, kitchen and  huge living area, and they have

Student Architects Shine in Solar Energy Contest

Dreams and designs of young architects are shining brightly in Washington at the bi-annual Solar Decathlon. They have come from around the world, college students combining their education with their imagination to create homes of the future that could be built now.  Nineteen teams have built their creations in downtown Washington DC this year at

Kenyan Nobel Prize Winner Maathai Dies at 71

Environmentalist and Nobel Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai died in Kenya’s capital late Sunday after a long battle with cancer. Even in the midst of jubilation over winning the Nobel Peace Prize, environmentalist Wangari Maathai put her beloved Kenya first. Shortly after receiving the honor in 2004, Maathai described to VOA what the victory meant for

New Delhi Metro Earns Carbon Credits

The passenger rail system in India’s capital has become the world’s first rail network to earn carbon credits from the United Nations for helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The so-called Delhi metro has become a popular mode of transport in its nine years of operation, a rare success story in a country where government

Oxfam Report Says Thousands Evicted in Uganda Land Grab

The British charity Oxfam has released a new report detailing the forced eviction of people from forests in Uganda to make way for a British timber company. The Ugandan government denies the allegations, and says the numbers are exaggerated. Oxfam says that between 2006 and 2010, more than 22,000 people were evicted in the Kiboga

Study: BP Oil Still Fresh on Gulf

A new study says balls of tar from last year’s BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are not breaking down as fast as officials had expected. Auburn University researchers say oil samples that washed up on the beach after Tropical Storm Lee earlier this month appeared very similar to fresh oil deposits taken

Zimbabwe Wildlife Poisoned

Poaching of Zimbabwe’s dwindling wildlife is at an all-time high, and for the first time poison being put in water holes in protected areas is killing animals and endangering people living nearby.  Wildlife is Zimbabwe’s main tourist attraction. Zimbabwe’s Parks and Wildlife Management Authority says that poachers have poisoned water holes in five national parks,

California Company Helps Extend Reach of Fresh-Grown Food

A growing number of Americans grow fruit and vegetables at home in their own gardens.  These small plots let gardeners savor the flavor of fresh-picked produce and improve their diet.  One company in Los Angeles helps new gardeners get started. Los Angeles homeowner Robert Smith gets tangy peppers and tasty tomatoes by walking into his

Undersea Cable Could Revolutionize Oceanography

This past April, there was a big volcanic eruption in America’s Pacific Northwest. If you missed it, you’re not alone. It happened under the ocean off the northern Oregon coast. Since then, several research ships have sent unmanned submersibles down into the undersea crater to videotape lava flows and spewing vents.   In a few

Conservationists Trying to Save, Reproduce Endangered Frogs

Forty percent of all the frogs in the world are in danger of extinction, according to the Smithsonian Institution. Pollution, pesticides, climate change and now a fungus are taking a toll on this diverse group of amphibians. Until recently, the central rain forest of Panama was rich in frog species. Smithsonian conservationist Brian Gratwicke is