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The Great Outdoors
With people looking towards healthier and more eco-friendly lifestyles, it's no surprise that there’s been an explicable reunion with nature. Revisiting more natural and earthy attitudes has quickly become a fixture in many design ethos and inspirations.
The Great Outdoors 

The Treehotel in Sweden

I love tree houses! There is something nostalgic about those tiny houses perched high up in the trees overlooking serene surroundings. The Treehotel is located in Harads, near the Lule river, about 100 kilometers from Luleå airport, in Sweden. There’s no better way to experience nature than to be one with nature. Inspired by “The Tree Lover” by Jonas Selberg Augustsen, the Treehotel hopes to connect humans to the significance of trees in our world. Don’t be fooled though, design and comfort are not compromised here. Together with some of Scandinavia’s leading architects, these “treerooms” have been uniquely designed to suspended 4-6 meters above ground – all with spectacular views of the Lule River. The company also places high regard for ecological values and takes caution in their construction and operation of the hotel.

Back to Basics The Great Outdoors 

Electree Solar Charging Station

Inspired by nature and the process of photosynthesis, this usb charging station has been designed to look and act like a bonsai tree. Electree as it is called, was designed by French designer Vivien Muller based in Metz. It has taken Muller 3 years to perfect this design as he wanted to incorporate as much of his ecological inspiration, aesthetic vision and practical functionality prior to its release. I love the look of this product and the meaning behind it.

DIY Sustainability The Great Outdoors 

Gayana Eco Resort Lets You Replant Coral

As the days grow shorter and the wind blows stronger, winter is inevitably upon us, especially here in North America. With only about a month before the winter holidays, many are looking to vacation at potential sun destinations for some much needed rest and relaxation. Gayana Eco Resort in Malaysia seems to fit the bill as it rests at the edges of a lush jungle forest on a coral reef island off the coast of Borneo. Doesn’t that already sound exquisite? What’s even more appealing is its commitment to eco-tourism, evident with its on-site Marine Ecology Research Centre that proactively is committed towards saving endangered giant clams and restoring natural coral reefs.

Community The Great Outdoors 

American Express Contest: Room for Thought

There should always be room for thought. My favourite days are the days spent thinking about what my next project, great adventure or agenda will be. But with thought, should come a plan of action. American Express has put together the Room for Thought project to help make our ideas…happen! They will be providing the means and the space for lucky individuals who have great ideas and help make them a reality in Toronto, Canada in November of this year. After hearing about the contest from our friends at HUG, Vidafine is so excited to share with you the 9 finalist for the contest that started this summer. Now, American Express is taking public votes to help determine the three final winners. Once chosen, the finalist will then be directed, mentored and supported by three very distinguished individuals in the categories of Community, Travel and Adventure and Music.

The Great Outdoors 

See the Swiss Alps in a Whitepod

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Since there was so much interest with our previous post about Hotel Igloo Village, I thought it would be worthwhile to introduce the Whitepod in Switzerland as an alternate vacation spot for those interested in yet another igloo-like experience (note: their website has ‘winter-y’ sounds to get you into the mood). I was in awe when I saw the photos for this place, and I was having a hard time deciding which to show. Though I slightly prefer sun destinations when it comes to vacation spots, I’m very tempted to check out this place if I ever get the chance to.

Back to Basics Sustainability The Great Outdoors 

WeWOOD Watches are on a Mission

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We at Vidafine love design and innovation with a cause. In a time when environmental initiatives are guiding principles for many organizations, we love how companies, through simple acts, are helping to replenish our planet with its natural beauty. That’s why we really appreciate how companies like WeWOOD are sharing their mission of creating a more sustainable future with the help of their customers.

Back to Basics Community The Great Outdoors 

Visionary: Natalia Kantor, Roads Less Traveled

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“Imagine The Alternative” suggests the tagline for upcoming TV and online documentary series Roads Less Traveled. Launching on March 24th at The Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, the multi-part series is set to give viewers a glimpse into the other ways that people live.

When I first met Natalia Kantor, producer and director behind “Roads Less Traveled”, in a café in Toronto in the summer of 2010, we clicked immediately. What she was referring to – the existence of sub or counter-cultures and communities that offered alternatives to the conventional life – was something that I had already been exploring.

For some time I had felt that the familiar, conventional lifestyle that involved getting a degree, and then a salaried job, and then married with children, just did not work for many people. I’d seen evidence of this in my own life – with friends, work colleagues and family. As you may have also experienced “the formula”, does not guarantee happiness.

Sustainability Synergy The Great Outdoors 

Blissful Luxury Eco-Travel at Soneva Kiri

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Since our last post about eco-travel just south of the American border, we’ve discovered another gem, this time on the other side of the globe in Thailand, known as Soneva Kiri, which is part of the Six Senses Spa and Development Company. With its stunning architecture, meticulous attention to detail and of course, its eco-friendly practices towards luxury travel, it is simply nothing short of spectacular. Considering the amount of carbon fumes emitted during travel time to get here, it’s nice to know I can make up for my environmental negligence during my stay.