5 Affordable Eco-Friendly Resorts

4-mile beach in Port Douglas, Australia. Anthony Woods
By Charis Atlas Heelan

Traveling "green" doesn't need to cost you a lot of green. It is possible to reduce your impact on a destination without spending an absolute fortune for the privilege. Here are five affordable resorts that embrace the concept of sustainable tourism so you can enjoy a guilt-free vacation.

Photo Caption: The 4-mile beach in Port Douglas, Australia.
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The Desert Rose Eco Lodge in the Bahariya Oasis, Egypt. Desert Rose Eco Lodge
What: This eco lodge, in a desert near Pyramid Mountain, has Roman hot springs with therapeutic qualities just yards away. The 11 rooms are built with local materials like natural clay. There is no air-conditioning, but the nights are cool. By day, the thick clay walls absorb heat, and the high ceilings and ventilation windows create a natural flow of air. The lodge serves Middle Eastern cuisine using organic fruit and vegetables grown in its gardens.

Where: Elbawity, Bahariya Oasis, Egypt, about 200 miles southwest of Cairo.

When: Throughout the year.

Price: From €23 per person per night, with breakfast. All rooms can sleep up to three guests. Children under 10 are free; ages 10-15 years are half price.

More Info: +(2)/01228-233-731; www.desertrose-ecolodge.com

Photo Caption: The Desert Rose Eco Lodge in the Bahariya Oasis, Egypt.
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Kadavu Island, Fiji, and the volcano that created the island. tbonzzz_6
What: Matava Resort has room for up to 22 guests in traditional thatched Fijian bures. The property, which uses solar power and organic farming, also supports local schools.

Where: Accessible by ferry, the remote island of Kadavu is 55 miles from the main island of Viti Levu and on the fringe of the Great Astrolabe Reef.

When: Throughout the year

Price: F$940 for 3 nights per person based on double/twin share; 4 nights F$1250, 5 nights $1555, etc. The "Matava Fiji Adventure" package from F$1860 per person includes airport and boat transfers, seven nights in an ocean-view bure, all meals, one day of sea kayaking, one day of boat snorkel trips and use of snorkel gear at the Great Astrolabe Reef, a guided village waterfall walk, and all taxes. Airfare isn't included.

More Info: www.matava.com

Photo Caption: Kadavu island, Fiji, and the volcano that created the island.
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Muong Khuong district of Lao Cai province, in the northeastern region of Vietnam. Andries3
What: Located in a pine forest surrounded by rice fields, Cao Son Ecolodge overlooks a mountain range and valley near Chay river. The lodge relies on alternative energy sources, including solar panels for hot water and electricity. It also actively conserves water, recycles wherever possible, uses reclaimed building materials, and sources food locally.

Where: Muong Khuong district in Lao Cai province. There is a direct train from Hanoi to Lao Cai; the nearest airport is Noi Bai.

When: Throughout the year

Price: From $30 per room per night with breakfast

More Info: tel. +84/91-730-96-85

Photo Caption: Muong Khuong district of Lao Cai province, in Vietnam's northeastern region.
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The Port Douglas seascape. petrichor
What: Port O'Call Eco Lodge generates 100 percent of its hot-water needs from the sun and uses wind energy for public and outdoor lighting. The 28-room lodge also runs free shuttles to and from Cairns Airport.

Where: Port Douglas in Queensland is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest, and two UNESCO World Heritage areas.

When: Throughout the year, but best in September and October.

Price: From AUD$38 per person (about $36) in a quad share room.

More Info: tel. +61/7-4099-5422; www.portocall.com.au

Photo Caption: The Port Douglas seascape.
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Ecolodge Rendez-Vous, Saba. Ecolodge Rendez-Vous
What: Located in a mosquito-free rain forest, the 12-cottage Ecolodge Rendez-Vous uses solar-powered lighting and has -- gasp! -- no phones or TV. Don't worry, management can charge your cell phone and camera batteries. The cottages were each made with recycled materials, and the organic gardens grow more than 70 percent of the fruit, herbs, and vegetables used at the restaurant.

Where: The Caribbean island of Saba, a two-hour ferry ride from St. Maarten (www.sabactransport.com).

When: Throughout the year. Summer is April 16-November 1; winter is November 2-April 15.

Price: Lodging starts at $60 per night for two people. Add $10 per additional guest. With breakfast, lodgin is $75 per person per night with addition guest $20 per night. Children up to 12 free. Most cottages sleep up to four people and have a private hot tub on the deck. The ferry from St. Maarten is $90 round-trip.

More Info: tel. +599/416-3348; www.ecolodge-saba.com

Photo Caption: The Ecolodge Rendez-Vous on the Caribbean island of Saba.
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Israel on $5 a Day (1964) Frommer's
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