VIDEO: Young seal pups play with divers near the Scottish coast

Seals are truly beautiful creatures, aren’t they? With their dark, liquid eyes and ready smiles, it’s easy to see how people can develop such a kinship with them, and how stories about seal-people called selkies came to be. A group of divers near the Scottish coast had a once-in-a-lifetime experience when they came across a group of curious youngsters who decided they’d like to find out what these visitors were all about. Like enthusiastic puppies (which they actually resemble quite strongly!), these seals romp and play around the divers, nosing around them curiously and encouraging them to play along. The seals even grinned as they got belly rubs and head-scratches from the divers, who must have had an incredible time with these gorgeous kids.

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Scientists smash solar cell efficiency record by converting 40.4% of sunlight to energy

by , 12/08/14

solar cell, efficiency, solar power, university of new south wales, unsw, efficiency record, solar power tower, photovoltaics

A team from the University of New South Wales, Australia, just set a new world record for solar energy efficiency by successfully converting 40.4% of available sunlight into electricity. And what’s even more remarkable is the fact that the record was achieved by using commercially available solar cells in a new way – which means, as the team explains, “these efficiency improvements are readily accessible to the solar industry.”

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Extraordinary panoramic photos celebrate the sacred geometry of Iran's mosques

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Stephen Orlando captures kayakers' motions in stunning long-exposure photographs

by , 12/08/14

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Tentsile's new Vista tree tent creates triple-decker treehouses in the sky

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Research shows California drought is the worst in 1,200 years

by , 12/08/14

california, drought, heatwave, reservoir, record heat, woods hole, blue oak, climate, natural disaster

This past week may have brought a much-needed dose of rain to southern California, but the region still continues to suffer under devastating drought conditions. These conditions are so bad, according to researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the University of Minnesota, that they now constitute California’s worst drought in 1,200 years.

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United Nations: 2014 will be the hottest year ever

by , 12/08/14

united nations, world meteorological organization, climate change, global warming, un, un report

According to new temperature data analyzed by the United NationsWorld Meteorological Organization, 2014 is currently tied with 2010 for the hottest year on record—suggesting that there has been no slowdown in global warming. By the end of the year, 2014 may well claim the top spot. The UN’s data shows that the global average temperature was 1.03º F (0.57º C) above average between January and October. Meanwhile, ocean temperatures hit a new high, and land temperatures were in the top five highest-ever since the 19th century, when record-keeping began.

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Orkidstudio builds passive solar African orphanage using earthbag construction

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OMI Architects insert two multi-functional pods into a 19th-century church in Bolton, UK

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INFOGRAPHIC: Make Fresh Food Last Longer

Infographic, Inhabitat Infographic, produce, food waste, produce waste, fresh food waste, preserving fresh food, preserving produce, preserving cheese, preserving vegetables, preserving eggs, preserving fruit, making fruit last longer, make vegetables last longer, make cheese last longer, make eggs last longer

Wasted food is more than just wasted money. Every time you toss uneaten produce in the compost, it causes unnecessary environmental damage and wastes water. So how do you make your food last longer? This new infographic by NeoMam Studios for Pounds to Pocket has all the details on preserving, storing and prolonging the life of all of your fresh food, saving you money and the planet. Check out the full infographic after the break!

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Transglass Recycled Glass Tableware by Tord Boontje and Emma Woffenden

Transglass, recycled glass tableware, Tord Boontje, recycled glass, transglass, tranSglass, Guatemalana recycled glass, recycled glass tableware, recycled glass dishes, recycled glass vase, vase, vases, jug, jugs, glass, glasses, tableware

Tranglass is one of our favorite recycled-design projects of all time. Contradicting the old notion that recycling in design equals handicrafts made from buttons and popsicle sticks, the Transglass project proves once and for all that the efficient reuse of waste materials can go hand in hand with haute design. Designers Tord Boontje and Emma Woffenden have created a gorgeous line of tableware from recycled wine and beer bottles from the restaurant industry. Tumblers, vases, and carafes are all fashioned through collecting, cleaning and re-cutting old glassware into new shapes.

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INFOGRAPHIC: Recycling tips for the holidays

A Recyclers Xmas List Infographic

Have you heard the term “closing the loop” with regard to holiday shopping? It refers to the idea of purchasing items made with recycled materials instead of brand-new products, like recycling a cell phone and then buying a refurbished one. Similarly, one can “close the loop” with decorations and wrappings by recycling any waste one year, and then choosing recycled cards and paper the following year. If everyone were to give sustainable, reusable gifts to their friends and family, and then recycle all the garbage created during get-togethers, we could cut down on a lot of landfill waste this year.

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Starbucks' Willy Wonka Coffee Factory & Largest Store Ever Opens in Seattle

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5 tips for a green and happy Hanukkah!

by , 12/08/14

5-Green-Happy-Hanukkah-Tips

Everybody loves Hanukkah; the festival of lights that comes but once a year! Every December, we look forward to this joy-filled excuse to stuff our faces with fried potatoes, sour cream, and apple sauce, but eight days of burning candles, giving gifts, and frying pancakes could lead to some seriously wasteful behavior. Not to worry, all you eco Hanukkah lovers—there are plenty of ways that you can green up this year’s holiday celebration, and here are five smart tips to get you started!

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Sweden expands its hydrogen vehicle refueling station network

hydrogen fuel, fuel cell technology, hydrogen, vehicles, hydrogen powered car, alternative fuels, fossil fuels, Sweden, PowerCell Sweden, Gothenburg, Hydrogen Sweden, European Commission, refueling,

Sweden is installing a permanent hydrogen fuel filling station in the city of Gothenburg. The new station will make it possible to travel by hydrogen-fueled vehicle the whole length of the roughly six-hour drive between Oslo, Norway and Malmö in southern Sweden, which already have stations in operation. The station is the result of a partnership between the regional government, the EU, Hydrogen Sweden and clean fuel companies, with the aim of testing new fuel cell technologies and promoting the uptake of hydrogen-fueled vehicles.

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Off-the-grid truck house transforms into a spectacular fantasy castle

Off-the-grid truck house transforms into a spectacular fantasy castle

The family of three decided to build a home which would suit their active lifestyle and allow them to travel without having to compromise on quality of life. Their castle house has…

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Winter Sun art installation brings warmth and light to King's Cross in London

Winter Sun art installation brings warmth and light to King's Cross in…

Developed as a sensory installation, the Winter Sun is a circular structure that measures 16.4 feet tall and 59 feet wide. An open-air bar located at the heart of the structure serves…

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14 Green Gifts That Give Back

14 Green Gifts That Give Back

Today is Giving Tuesday - and to celebrate we've rounded up 14 eco-friendly organizations that make gift giving a truly philanthropic act. Voltaic donates up to three solar power kits…

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Could a redesigned alcohol wipe help prevent the spread of disease?

Could a redesigned alcohol wipe help prevent the spread of disease?

Eighty-percent of infectious diseases are transmitted by touch, which makes hand hygiene one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of infection. To match the busy lifestyles…

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Puerto Rico's Little Malibu House is an eco-retreat with extraordinary ocean views

Puerto Rico's Little Malibu House is an eco-retreat with extraordinary…

The property was developed with ecological respect for one of the world’s great surf towns and was designed to maximize dramatic ocean views to create a sense of complete escape.…

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