updated 4/21/2009 10:11:13 AM ET 2009-04-21T14:11:13

In honor of Earth Day on April 22, we're highlighting packages that include volunteer opportunities, charitable donations, and discounts for driving a hybrid in Boston, L.A., New York, Costa Rica, and beyond.

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You can find out about major Earth Day celebrations around the globe—and ways to take action and make your everyday life more environmentally friendly—through the Earth Day Network.

Olympic National Park, Wash., from $109 per room per night
The Lake Quinault Lodge is offering an Earth Day Volunteer Vacation that includes accommodations, a volunteer experience from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and an included barbecue with your fellow volunteers afterward. You'll help clean up and restore the Kestner Homestead, a 120-year-old historic site in the Quinault Rain Forest. As a bonus, if you drive a hybrid car, you'll receive a $15 gift certificate for use in the lodge's store or restaurant. Rates start at $109 per room; add nights from just $89 per room.

When: April 24–25, 2009.

Details: Does not include taxes of 11 percent. Based on single or double occupancy.

Contact: 888/896-3827, visitlakequinault.com.

Ithaca, N.Y., from $120 per room per night
The Climbing Vine Cottage, about 10 minutes south of Ithaca, has a buy-one-get-one-free offer for people who drive hybrid vehicles. The cottage is actually a yurt surrounded by a garden, along with a pond, a forest, and a gorge a few steps away. There's also a full kitchen and free Wi-Fi. Rates start at $120 per room per night; if you drive a hybrid, your second night is free.

When: Through May 10, 2009.

Details: Does not include taxes of 11 percent. Based on occupancy of up to six people. Requires a two-night stay.

Contact: 607/564-7140, climbingvinecottage.com.

Costa Rica, from $135 per room per night
The La Cusinga Eco Lodge uses solar and water power to generate all its electricity and to heat the building's water. The eight-room lodge is in Uvita, in southwestern Costa Rica, next to Ballena Marine National Park, a virgin rain forest. Take a three-hour hike through the forest or simply stroll along the Pacific coast. The lodge's restaurant uses food grown in its own gardens and other locally sourced organic products. Rates start at $135 per room per night.

Slideshow: Misty mountains

When: Ongoing.

Details: Rate includes taxes and breakfast. Based on double occupancy; single occupancy rate starts at $107.

Contact: 786/427-2079, lacusingalodge.com.

New Orleans, from $159 per room per night
The New Orleans Marriott is offering a Spirit to Serve Voluntourism Getaway that includes breakfast and a $50 donation to the local Habitat for Humanity. The hotel's concierge will recommend local charities where you can volunteer if you so choose—and will help you coordinate the details. The hotel is in the French Quarter near Bourbon Street. Rates start at $159 per room per night.

When: Through Oct. 29, 2009.

Details: Does not include taxes of 13 percent and a $3 occupancy tax per night. Based on single or double occupancy. Use promo code P54.

Contact: 888/364-1200, marriott.com.

L.A., from $220 per room per night
Each night at dusk, the Sofitel Los Angeles turns off lights in public areas for one hour to conserve energy. The staff lights candles in the lobby, restaurant, and bar, and encourages guests to turn off their own lights and hang out in the public areas. The 295-room hotel has views of the famous Hollywood sign. Rates start at $220 per room per night.

When: Ongoing.

Details: Does not include taxes of 14 percent. Based on single or double occupancy.

Contact: 310/278-5444, sofitel.com.

Boston, from $229 per room per night
The Save Green package at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel includes accommodations, free parking, a Boston Harbor walking map and guide, a coupon book, two glasses of organic wine at 606 Congress, and a donation of $10 to the Juma rain forest in Brazil, which Marriott has pledged $2 million to protect. Rates start at $229 per room per night.

When: April 22–Sept. 7, 2009.

Details: Does not include taxes of 12 percent. Based on single or double occupancy. Use promo code PX3.

Contact: 800/468-3571, marriott.com.

Expedia has launched a special guide to green travel that includes green hotel recommendations.

If you're interested in voluntourism (volunteering while you travel), consider the following tour operators:

Global Exchange Reality Tours has a socially conscious, politically aware approach to tours in locations like Afghanistan, Colombia, and India. Groups tend to average 15 to 20 people, who run the gamut from youths to college and grad students to retirees. You'll do some volunteering with local groups in each tour.

United Planet runs environmental programs in Ecuador, India, and Costa Rica. Projects focus on environmental education and conservation and ecotourism, particularly sea turtle habitat preservation. Read more about the company's environmental programs here.

G.A.P Adventures is highlighting its voluntours and sustainable tours for the entire month of April. The company runs tours with volunteering opportunities in Costa Rica, Peru, Tanzania, and more.

For programs closer to home, check out the offerings available through Earthwatch, American Hiking Society, and Oceanic Society—organizations that, among other things, operate trips that benefit the local environment and community.

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.


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