These Canadian lodges really deliver on their promises to be green
Credit: Forest House â€¨Wilderness Lodge
Forest House Wilderness LodgeLocation: Northern Saskatchewan, 150 kms north of Lac La Ronge
Size: Up to 12 guests
Activities: Hiking, canoeing, swimming
Why it’s eco: Solar panels supply most of the power and the lodge has composting toilets and extensive grey-water filtration systems. A water tank kept in the sauna provides hot showers.
Other good stuff: Over the past 35 years, the lodge has composted everything possible to build up its extensive gardens on the Canadian Shield. As a result, it is able to feed guests from its own organic harvest. Other appetizing treats are gathered in sustainable quantities from the land and lakes around the lodge.
Rates: Visit the website for 2012 prices.
Credit: Great â€¨Bear Lodge
Great Bear LodgeLocation: B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest
Size: Up to 10 guests
Activities: Guided grizzly-bear viewing in the bears’ natural habitat
Why it’s eco: Most of the lodge’s energy is provided by micro-hydro, solar and wind power. Eighty per cent of all waste is recycled, and the lodge has an inbuilt septic tank and a separate system for grey water.
Other good stuff: The lodge has been active in the fight to protect the area’s grizzly bears, and has contributed to a campaign to buy the commercial hunting licence for the area. It also works with the Gwa’Sala-Nakwaxda’xw First Nation to ensure a thriving salmon river.
Rates: A two-night stay starts at $1,350 per person.
Credit: Matagami ECOlodge
Matagami ECOlodgeLocation: Quebec, south of James Bay
Size: Up to 12 guests
Activities: Hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, kayaking
Why it’s eco: Totally off the grid, the lodge uses solar panels and two small windmills for power. The design of the buildings keeps cool air inside during the summer and cold air out during the winter.
Other good stuff: In 2004, when the mine was shut down in nearby Matagami, 35 local people were hired and trained to help construct the lodge buildings. The lodge also buys locally as much as possible, providing guests with fresh baked goods, cheeses and jams.
Rates: From $230 per night
Web: Listing on It's a Green Green World
Credit: Algonquin â€¨Eco-Lodge
Algonquin Eco-LodgeLocation: Algonquin Park, Ontario
Size: Up to 34 guests
Activities: Canoeing, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, dog sledding
Why it’s eco: A micro-hydro generator brings in all the power the lodge needs. Water is diverted from a nearby lake where it cascades into a river, and then flows through the turbines and back into the river. Waste water runs through a septic tank and then weeping tiles before it filters back into the ground.
Other good stuff: The rustic lodge focuses on buying local and keeping itself remote. After arriving at the end of the road, you have to walk 2.3 kilometres to reach the lodge.
Rates: Start at $110 per person per night.
Credit: Siwash â€¨Lake Ranch
Siwash Lake RanchLocation: Two hours north of Kamloops, B.C.
Size: Up to 16 guests
Activities: Horseback riding, fishing, hiking, canoeing, mountain biking
Why it’s eco: This wilderness ranch uses solar panels to produce 90 per cent of its energy. Waste water is gravity fed into a simple lagoon system; no chemicals are used on the ranch.
Other good stuff: The ranch follows environmentally friendly farming practices, and has worked with Ducks Unlimited Canada to preserve delicate wetlands. It buys produce from local farmers, but also offers guests its own farm-fresh meat, such as organic beef.
Rates: A five-night stay during high season starts at $2,750 per person.