14 October 2010

Rebuilt McDonald’s in Riverside California attempts to go green

A 44-year-old McDonald’s restaurant in Riverside, California became the first Golden Arch inspired operation west of the Mississippi to seek Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification.

So for just a moment let’s suspend our knowledge of the cruel, ugly and environmentally damaging supply side of Mickey D’s and instead focus on the efforts of Tom and Candace Spiel—the owners of the Riverside franchise.

"We were inspired to build a McDonald's restaurant that highlights the green focus of Riverside: California's first Emerald City," said Candace Spiel, McDonald's owner/operator. "We are so proud of this restaurant and its possibilities to encourage and educate our customers and community on the importance of environmental sustainability."

The Spiels have implemented a multitude of green features in the rebuilt facility including:

•Light colored hardscape to reduce heat emissions from site
•Native drought tolerant plants to reduce water consumption by landscape
•Low flow plumbing fixtures to reduce water usage
•294 photovoltaic panels to generate a percentage of the restaurant's power consumption
•Recycled denim insulation inside the building

The “sustainability” of fast food restaurants is definitely suspect but at least it’s a small positive step forward within a franchise that otherwise is quite backward.

In case you were wondering, McDonald’s restaurants in Cary, NC., Savannah,GA., and Chicago, Ill. have also achieved LEED Certification.

Eric Fortney | @elfortney
Eric is the co-founder & executive editor of This Dish Is Veg. In addition to his TDIV work, Eric is a father of three, runner, and lover of the outdoors.

Photo credit: PRNewsFoto/McDonald's Operators' Association of Southern California