McDonald's has opened a prototype "green" restaurant on the industrial south side of Chicago. It takes the traditional model of a stand-alone location and tosses in some smarter design elements that, according to the company, will save the restaurant up to 25% a year on utility bills.
Fast Food Goes Healthy
What have they done? Heat recovery devices capture cooking heat and recycle it. Storm water runoff is captured by the parking lot and delivered to a cistern for irrigation, and plants on the roof provide natural insulation and more water control. Skylights reduce energy demands from electric lights. Tables and decor have been made from recycled milk containers and Coca-Cola bottles, and cardboard food containers are recycled, too, an answer to growing complaints about how much roadside litter comes from the chain.