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Scuba Dog Digs Diving

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If you were a scuba diver and your dog got upset whenever you went on dives, what would you do? Personally, I'd let him deal with it or leave him at home, but that's not what professional diver Sergei Gorbunov chose to do when his little dachshund started showing serious anxiety whenever he went under the waves. Instead, he fashioned a scuba suit complete with an oxygen mask and full plastic head piece so little Boniface could come along with him.

Regardless of what you think about letting a dog scuba dive, you really should click on the link and see pictures of the pup in his scuba suit, I dare say it's even cuter than the snorkeling chihuahua picture I used for illustrative purposes above.

[Image courtesy of DarthAbraham's Flickr stream.]

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Animals
Meet the Golden Retriever Who is Cleaning Up China's Polluted Rivers, One Plastic Bottle at a Time
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Instead of simply teaching his dog to “sit,” “shake,” or “roll over,” one environmentally conscious pet owner in China has trained his Golden Retriever to fetch trash from the eastern Jiangsu province’s polluted rivers, Vocativ reports.

When the dog is commanded to “retrieve,” it goes searching for plastic water bottles. The pooch reportedly collects around 20 to 30 bottles a day, and has removed more than 2000 items from the region’s waterways in the past decade.

According to a 2016 report by Public Radio International, China—along with Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam—is one of the world’s leading producers of plastic ocean waste.  Together, the five Asian nations contribute as much as 60 percent of the plastic waste that enters the world’s seas.

This statistic is staggering—but thanks to this persistent dog, we’re reminded that every little bit helps to make a difference.

[h/t Vocativ]

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environment
China Is Now Home to a Panda-Shaped Solar Farm
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China is famous for its pandas, and infamous for its pollution. To celebrate the country’s national animal while also combating greenhouse gas emissions, Business Insider reports that a solar power plant investor and operator has unveiled a brand-new panda-shaped plant in Datong, China.

A panda-shaped solar farm in China, built by company Panda Green Energy
Panda Green Energy

China Merchants New Energy Group (CMNE) teamed up with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to plan the 248-acre farm, which was built by Panda Green Energy Group, a global eco-development solutions provider that’s partly owned by CMNE. Their solar-panel bear is enormous, but it's only the first stage of construction for the new Panda Power Plant.

The plant currently contains one 50-megawatt plant. Later in 2017, CMNE plans to construct a second solar panda. When fully connected, the Panda Power Plant will measure 1500 acres and have a capacity of 100 megawatts. In the next 25 years, CMNE claims, the Panda Power Plant will produce 3.2 billion kilowatt-hours of solar energy, thus reducing China’s dependence on coal and carbon emissions by 2.74 million tons.

A panda-shaped solar farm in China, built by company Panda Green Energy
Panda Green Energy

As for the pandas themselves, Mashable reports that their black-and-white features are rendered using two types of solar panels: white thin film photovoltaic (PV) cells and black monocrystalline silicon PV cells. The whimsical designs are intended to promote awareness about clean energy among young people.

“Designing the plant in the shape of a panda could inspire young people and get them interest in the applications of solar power,” Panda Green Energy’s CEO, Li Yuan, said in May 2016.

Chinese youth will be recruited to attend summer camps at the Panda Power Plant to learn more about green energy production. Panda Green Energy also plans to construct panda-themed power stations in Fiji and the Philippines, with the goal of constructing 100 panda plants around the world over the next five years.

"I believe that the panda solar power plants will become a tourist hotspot, and in future we'll export these panda power plants to other parts of the world," Yuan said.

[h/t Business Insider]

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