Vikas is a staff writer for the Sustainable Development news and editorial section on Justmeans. He is an MBA with 20 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience and global travel. He is the author of "The Power of Money" (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas is also the official writer...
Green McDonald's to Educate Customers on Environment
A handful of McDonald's restaurants in the U.S. are seeking LEED certification for green building and operations. The latest one to join ranks is a McDonald's restaurant in Riverside, California. The restaurant expects to be awarded a LEED Gold rating within a year's time. Tom Spiel, the owner and operator of the restaurant believes that by following green building standards it is possible to lead by example and educate and encourage the customers in the matters of environmental sustainability.
"For us, this is a way to give back to our community," says Tom. "We hope that what we learn from this restaurant can be utilized to build more efficient and environmentally friendly restaurants in the future, which will then benefit more communities." As a unique community initiative, it aims to create an interesting and interactive platform for the customers to know more about the sustainable endeavors that help to make this Riverside McDonald's restaurant green.
Towards this aim, the restaurant engaged the services of QA Graphics, creative firm in Midwest to set up an Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard at the premises. This dashboard is an interactive application that works quite similar to a website. It is informative and presents real-time energy efficiency data, and provides details on various sustainable initiatives operating at the premises. The best part of this innovative solution is that it provides a link between the restaurant's solar photovoltaic array and the display board to provide real-time energy data in a user-friendly manner.
The customers can interact with the 42-inch LCD touchscreen, which is a part of the dashboard, and learn all about the sustainable features incorporated in the restaurant. A 3D virtual tour lets the customers explore the entire interior and exterior parts of the restaurant and know about the green innovations used in each part. The customers are also encouraged to see a demonstration of how the solar photovoltaic system works. LED lighting, solar hot water panels, Solatubes and porous pavers are other energy saving systems that customers can understand through demos. The aim is to educate and inspire people to implement green ideas in their personal lives.
Photo Credit: somaddjinn