How Green Is Your Fast Food? Greenopia Has the Answers

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Ever wonder which, of the country's fast food options, would be your greenest bet?Check out Greenopia's latest rankings of more than 20 popular fast food chains in the U.S. Restaurants are ranked according to how well they meet Greenopia's criteria, which are divided into the following categories: green building design, supply chain, recycling/take-back programs, stock and sustainability reporting.

Probably not surprisingly, McDonald's did not top the list, nor did Burger King.They were both on the list, however, and McDonald's, this year with two green leafs (the top scorers had four), has apparently shown some improvements since last year, which Greenopia says makes it one of the "top performing major chains."

The top three restaurants seem to be a little more proactive on the green front, however: EVOS, Le Pain Quotidien, and Pizza Fusion all received four green leafs, meaning they met at least 90 percent of the criteria.

Extra bonus points for Le Pain Quotidien for getting a vegan quiche on its menu!

To get a better idea of what the Greenopia evaluation looks like, here are the summaries for Le Pain Quotidien and EVOS' green efforts:

Le Pain Quotidien is doing a lot to be green. Le Pain Quotidien uses organic and local ingredients in its prepared foods and has incorporated numerous elements of green building design into its stores including reclaimed fixtures and efficient appliances. Le Pain Quotidien also composts its food waste and uses its spent food oil for biodiesel.

EVOS has done a lot to make its restaurants as green as possible. First, they sell a variety of organic and fair trade products which are both ecologically and socially responsible. Even more impressively, EVOS has incorporated many elements of green building design into its locations including natural building materials, no-VOC paints, efficient fixtures, and recycled items as well. EVOS also uses recycled-content items for menus and to-go containers. Finally, EVOS purchases wind credits to offsets its energy footprint.

Why Rank Fast Food
"It's often hard to completely avoid frequenting fast food restaurants given their convenience and low cost," said Gay Browne, Founder of Greenopia, which calls itself the leading online guide for sustainable and socially conscious purchase decisions. "We felt that completing such an analysis would be valuable to millions of consumers trying to make greener and healthier choices."

To compile the rankings, Greenopia said it gathered, calculated, and analyzed the criteria using its "lifecycle eco-cost methodology."

More on fast food and sustainability
Fast Food Joints Go to Extremes: Stuffed Burgers to Extreme Coupons
Otarian Opens - Vegetarian Fast Food, Carbon Labeled, in New York and London

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