Category Archives: Lifestyle

Businesses Step Up To Help Haiti

Photo: Cassandra Nelson/Mercy Corps

An earthquake, registering 7.0 on the Richter Scale, rocked the island of Haiti last week. Within 24 hours of the disaster, aid organizations, individuals and businesses responded in full force. And now, a week later, the outpouring of support isn’t waning. With more than $2.5 million donated via text message to relief organizations working in Haiti, social media networks have been abuzz with news and action alerts, so we compiled a list of several businesses in our community that have stepped it up to help Haiti.

Mountain Hardwear is organizing a collection drive for tents and sleeping bags (or money to purchase the same and help with shipping) to aid the tens of thousands of displaced and injured people in Haiti. Along with clean water, food and medical supplies, temporary shelter is desperately needed. Used tents as long as they are functional, and lightweight sleeping bags are fine and of course new tents and sleeping bags from any of our outdoor industry friends would be ideal.

Oregon Wineries are donating, putting on special events to raise money and helping to spread the word via their social media channels.

ExOfficio employees sorted through customer returns, overstock and unsold inventory to supply World Concern with clothing for earthquake victims. Altogether, ExOfficio donated nine pallets or an estimated $429,000 worth of product. Four pallets will be immediately shipped to Haiti, along with food, water, and medical supplies.

Klean Kanteen donated 4,500 water bottles to be used at water treatment and desalination sites.

The Lizard Lounge in Portland, Ore. donated 10% of all profits from their January sale over the weekend to MercyCorps to help with relief efforts.

Portland Pedal Power, a company dedicated to human powered transportation of products in downtown Portland, donated all of their tips in the days following the quake to MercyCorps’ relief efforts.

This incredible response in a time of crisis is humbling, and needed. But remember, many countries like Haiti need our support on a regular basis, so let this week be your jumping off point to lead a more mindful life and give when you can to those who need it.


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Filed under Impact, Lifestyle, Non-profits, Things we like

Where to Get Down (And Dirty?) At Outdoor Retailer: Your Guide To Happy Hours and Beyond

Here at Under Solen HQ we’re getting revved up for Outdoor Retailer, so we figured we’d keep track of all the cool and happening events in one ultimate guide. Keep checking back as we’ll be updating leading up to the show. And if you’ve got something that should be on here, track us down at @undersolen or leave a comment on this post.

Keep reading to get the full guide!

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Filed under Events, Lifestyle, Outdoors

Thoughts for 2010: Out With the Old, in With the New… Media That Is

As 2009 and draws to a close, we’re getting excited about what’s in store for next year. We can’t believe we only launched back in November! It’s been a very busy two months, and we’re hoping that energy takes us right on through 2010. So what wisdom are we taking with us? Just a few thoughts that should hep clear our minds and keep us creative and cutting-edge.

1. Social media is here to stay, but change is on the way. In the last year we’ve seen all forms of social media take off at tremendous speeds, and don’t think that speed is anywhere near slowing down, but it might be changing direction. We’ve been reading up on social media predictions for 2010, and there are some great articles including Six Social Media Predictions for 2010 on and Social Media Experts Make Their Predictions for 2010 on Mashable. We certainly agree with Charlene Li, Founder of Altimeter Group “Social media in 2010 will cease being the shiny new object and instead become part of the everyday lexicon of business.”

2. New media will continue evolving and help people inspired to create positive change. The internet has allowed people around the world to share their stories, photos, videos and build communities with others that are excited about their cause. This isn’t going away for 2010, and we’re betting that new media is going to become an even stronger vehicle for positive change. That’s why we’ll be doing many more features for our Profiles series, so that you can learn who’s making a difference in the world of new media and how they’re doing it.

3. Social media is still not a replacement for real relationships and networks. We love our social networks, but we love face-to-face time even more. In 2010 we’re committing to doing more things in person, getting active on the ground, talking on the phone and maintaining relationships by sending meaningful emails instead of quick updates. Keep up your personal relationships; real coffee breaks with friends are better than virtual ones.

Now we’re off to pour ourselves a glass of bubbly and ring in what we hope will be our best year yet. We hope you do the same – Happy New Year!

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Filed under Lifestyle, Social Media, Things we like

Damn Those Pants Are MountainSexual!

We love our Mountain Khakis, and we have always thought the rugged, toughness has made them uber hawt, but now the Urban Dictionary has made it official — these pants are MountainSexual.


It’s no new news to the folks at Mountain Khakis® that their premier collection of hips-down apparel has an air of sex appeal. So when Urban Dictionary, the ever-popular user-created slang dictionary, touted Mountain Khakis® as a prime example of the term MountainSexual, the folks at MK weren’t surprised…

Per Urban Dictionary’s definition, “Similar to metrosexual but one who lives in the mountains or otherwise pursues the outdoors adventure lifestyle. Kind of a cleaned-up granola, a Woodsy GQ kinda guy with a splash of bohemian. Knows that he doesn’t have to look or smell like a dirtbag to enjoy climbing, hiking, cycling, skiing (all forms), snowshoeing, etc. Probably reads Men’s Journal, Outside, Outside’s Go, National Geographic Adventure, even Wallpaper* and Dwell. Brands: Patagonia, Keen, Kuhl, The North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, Mountain Khakis. Strong environmental ethic. Drives a well-maintained truck, performance SUV, or cross-over when absolutely necessary but walks or rides a bicycle whenever possible. Works out gym but primarily to be in shape for outdoor pursuits. Shuns chain stores and shops in outdoor specialty stores such as The Trailhead in Buena Vista, Colorado. ‘For such an outdoorsy guy, that dude sure has great style.’”

To see the entire collection of MountainSexual Mountain Khakis® go to

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Filed under Lifestyle, Things we like

Amsterdam’s Floating Flower Market

Thanks to the folks at Gadling for brightening up this cold, winter afternoon with a cheery post about Amsterdam’s Floating Flower Market. We love Amsterdam’s flowers!

From Gadling:

Amsterdam’s Singel canal, which in the Middle Ages encircled the city as a moat, is home to the world’s only floating flower market, Bloemenmarkt. The stalls sit like large, partially-enclosed pontoon boats up against the street, and from the inside, they appear to be regular shops across the road from the touristy cheese and trinket traps. As you can see above, you’ll never notice the stalls are floating, so don’t worry about seasickness.

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Filed under Lifestyle, Things we like, travel

Make Your Own Snowglobe Ornaments for Chrismukkawanzaa!

Need some help with some last minute baubles this season? With the holidays in full swing (and being the incredible procrastinator that I am), I’m trolling the blogosphere for a few fun DIY gifts to give. This morning I stumbled across this one from the good folks at Photojojo:

Another holiday morning after:

You come to wearing a lampshade, mistletoe strewn everywhere, lying on a four-foot-high pile of empty airplane-size liquor bottles.

You’ll never remember that party, but at least you can remember the aftermath.

Turn those baby booze bottles to bauble: fill them with photos and hang them on your tree.

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Filed under Lifestyle, photos

Copenhagen’s Newest Bike Designs

Last week we wrote about Copenhagen’s commitment to providing bikes for conference delegates to ride. But it’s not just the UN conference that’s making the city embrace cycling, bike culture has been a big deal in the Danish capital for quite some time now. Danes believe in the power of cycling so much, that the city of Copenhagen wants 50% of the population to be commuting by bike in the metropolitan area by 2015. That would be a 40% increase from today’s numbers.

What’s the environmental impact of commuting by bike? In the U.S. alone, we could save 462 million gallons of gas a year by increasing the number of bicycle trips by just half a percentage point: from 1% to 1.5% of all trips.

But back to Copenhagen. How exactly do you inspire a whole city to commit to two wheels? Come up with a sleek design for bike share cycles, providing everyone in the city with access to two wheeled adventures. Earlier this year there was a contest to do just that, and this week the winner was announced. The winning designs — called My Loop and Open Bike — are so cool, we figured we’d feature them here to give you a visual of what cycling in Copenhagen will look like in the very near future.

Images via: Below the Clouds (our favorite Swedish design blog!!)

As the world gathers in Copenhagen for the UN Climate Change Conference, we’re following along by covering all sorts of aspects of the issue and the conference. You can read all of our climate related posts here.

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Filed under climate change, Lifestyle, Things we like