Though I try to be as green as possible, I have to admit to getting the occasional hankering for greasy fast food. Every few months or so I become terribly cranky until I get my hands on a Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme doused in Fire Sauce, or the $1 McChicken (far superior to the more expensive chicken sandwiches McDonalds sells, IMO), and don’t get me started on the discontinued Burger King Angry Whopper. I promise I don’t succumb to these cravings very often, and whenever I do I feel terrible about myself and only eat vegetables for days.
That said, I applaud the efforts of several fast food franchises for their efforts to offset their (substantial) carbon emissions with sustainable design. A Burger King in Waghausel, Germany, has installed wind and solar power systems that are expected to reduce energy costs by about 45 percent and cut CO2 emissions by 120 metric tons a year. In addition, they’ve installed interior and exterior LED lights and are using alternative energy sources like waste heat to generate hot water.
This redesign is part of Burger King’s corporate responsibility program, BK Positive Steps. The company plans to continue with these projects at 75 other sites by the end of 2010.
Also on board with green initiatives is McDonalds. A restaurant in Orange, California collaborated with New York-based LEDWaves to roll out an eye-catching new LED lighting plan composed of neon rope lights and a Flex II track lighting system using LED MR-16 bulbs. This creates a fun, futuristic yet zen ambience that is also cost-efficient. The newly designed McDonalds noted a 25% increase in sales a month after opening!
It’s uplifting to see these big franchises doing their part to help the planet. Now I won’t feel so bad about my next chicken nugget frenzy.