Not Everything is Golden in Calif.: One McDonald's Famous Arches Go Green

A rebuilt McDonald's restaurant in Riverside, Calif., became the first McDonald's west of the Mississippi, and the fourth in the U.S., to seek LEED Gold certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

The building, which is owned and operated by Tom and Candace Spiel and has stood as a McDonald's restaurant for 44 years, reopened more sustainable and energy-efficient with a host of "green" features 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 restaurant features an interactive touch screen display for visitors to learn about the building, environmental sustainability, and how individuals can reduce their carbon footprint.

Other LEED-certified McDonald's restaurants are located in Cary, N.C., Savannah, Ga. and Chicago. The Riverside restaurant expects to receive LEED certification within one year.

"We were inspired to build a McDonald's restaurant that highlights the green focus of Riverside: California's first Emerald City," says 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."

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