Let’s face it; Americans love to eat out. Sure, we know that eating at home is less expensive, usually healthier and provides other benefits, but nothing says relaxation like an amazing meal cooked and served at a great restaurant. The good news is that eating out can actually be green, and today many food service establishments are embracing eco-friendliness by going green with their daily food preparations and sustainable business practices, helping you feel good about comfort food! Following is a brief list of just a few of the popular food service chains who are starting to go green.
Founded in 2008, Ruggles Green is a restaurant dedicated to eating green. Ruggles Green was created to cater to the casual yet discerning customer who likes their food organic, healthy, all natural and delicious – and perhaps with a bottle of amazing organic wine. Specializing in wood-fired organic pizza, and also boasting an amazing organic macaroni and cheese, this restaurant is currently limited to two locations in Houston, Texas, but is bound to be so well received that it will spread across the country.
When you think of green, visions of coffee filled paper cups are probably not the first thing to come to mind. But sometimes going green is about finding a better, more sustainable way to give the customer what they want and Starbucks is working to do just that. Starbucks has worked to minimize its waste by using recycled material in their cups, using less materials to make their cups, recycling one or more specific consumables in each store, and encouraging customers to use refillable cups rather than disposable. Starbucks also strives for responsible purchasing of their coffee and cocoa products. Finally, they are working on development of a series of new buildings all of which will seek LEED accreditation, indicating that they have been built with the environment in mind.
Jamba Juice : A huge fruit juice chain specializing in vitamin smoothies and all fruit drinks, Jamba Juice has always strived to make their products natural and delicious. Today, they are taking that commitment further by selling all natural Jamb Juice ingredients in Whole Foods Health Food Stores. In addition to promoting healthful ingredients and increasing their own use of organic products in their stores, in 2009 Jamba Juice announced a new effort to promote sustainable business by reducing waste, recycling, and implementing electricity reduction programs. They are also working with LEED to develop best practices of energy use for businesses across the country.
Berripop: Founded in Texas in 2007, Berripop has offered refreshing, natural non-fat yogurt desserts that are tasty and healthful. Berripop uses no artificial growth hormones in their yogurt and promises a high level of calcium and natural, active probiotic cultures, which aid digestion. With a motto like “Love your Body,” it has to be good.
McDonald’s: Green might not be the first thought you have when you think of this burger mogul, but McDonalds has been working on sustainable business practices for years. First they became involved in various green causes outside the restaurant, now they are moving into their own stores to reduce waste and recycle. In many markets, McDonalds uses their old cooking oil to create biodiesel which powers their own fleet vehicles. They strive to purchase their supplies near source to reduce shipping costs. In 2009, McDonalds opened their first green restaurant, which uses solar powered lights, renewable materials, drought tolerant plants and includes car chargers in the parking lot.