Rating Fast Food for Greenness

At the top of my list of "Things I Can Do Without" is a green rating of fast food restaurants.

Greenopia, an online directory for sustainable purchases, is touting an update of its 4-Leaf rating system of 23 restaurant chains. Top scores went to Le Pain Quotidien, Pizza Fusion, and EVOS. Huh? Never heard of any of these. Oh, OK, the first one is on the East Coast and California. The pizza place started in Florida, which has the most restaurants, and has stores in California (4) and nine other states (about 1 each). California-based EVOS is in four states total. The one chain most everyone knows well – McDonald's – received a 1-leaf rating.

The chains got points for green building design (what does that have to do with eating an eco-friendly pizza?), supply chain management, and products served (organic and vegan are common on these menus).

Founder Gay Browne said that our busy lives have forced us to eat fast food several times per week, but that's not what the latest Harris Poll shows.

Last month, Harris Interactive surveyed 2,576 adults and found that about 45 percent have been brown bagging lunch during the past six months, presumably to save money. Except for the brown bag part, isn't that greener than driving to the nearest chain?

I guess my point is that the rating system isn't offering much choice unless you live in California, of course, and until the chains adopt more green practices, it seems a little premature.

Where does fast food fit on your green sheet?

Posted by L.K. Williams, EPonline on Feb 17, 2010

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