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Jonathan A. Schein Headshot

McDonalds Goes McElectric

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The world's largest fast food franchise corporation is continuing its move into the green era by offering an electric charging outlet for cars at its Cary, NC, location. While McDonald's already has a "green" restaurant in Chicago with a "living roof," this new facility will be the first to have electric car charging stations, and there are plans to implement many more across the country.

This is not the only green aspect of the Cary franchise. The facility will also have low-energy LED lighting and solar tubes that bring natural light into the restaurant. It will also be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council's new LEED for Retail program.

This is all fine and good, but there are a couple issues that should be discussed. First, as well meaning as this initiative is, are there enough electric cars in Cary, NC -- or America, for that matter -- to make this worthwhile at this point in time? Perhaps it would be easier to convert the kitchen's byproducts into biodiesel fuel, as there are more diesel-powered vehicles driving around now. Secondly, McDonald's is certainly on the right track in bringing energy efficiency and sustainability to the marketplace. However, is the company employing other methods as well? For example, how many of the food products that are used to make delectable dishes are delivered from local purveyors? Are the cups, plates, and utensils produced from recycled materials?

Although the attractiveness of electric charging stations is a great way to make a statement, there are are certainly more immediate ways to prove one's mettle in the world of sustainability.