Being eco-friendly is no longer just a thing for “hippies.” Many different types of businesses in the food industry are making big changes to help protect the environment. From famous fast food chains to delivery services that bring exactly what you’re craving to your doorstep, companies everywhere know that people value sustainable business practices more strongly than ever before. Here are five of the most well-known fast food companies that are doing their part to be eco-friendly.
Fast food companies going green:
Those golden arches are one of the most recognizable restaurant logos in the world and they are making big steps to be eco-friendly. McDonald’s pledges to use renewable, recyclable materials in all packaging by 2025 as well as bring recycling bins into each of their 37,000 locations around the world.
In 2016, they began to use sustainable beef for their burgers. They are also testing new sustainable options on their packaging at locations around the world, such as paper straws and paper cups.
2. Taco Bell
Taco Bell is one of the most well known Mexican-inspired fast-food chains and they are doing their part to protect the environment. They have also pledged to make their packaging that comes in contact with the consumer recyclable, compostable, and reusable in their 7,000 locations worldwide by 2025.
The material for their packaging will also be free of PFAS, Phthalates, and BPA. They will install recycling and composting bins where local law permits as well.
As of 2018, all of their cups and lids for cold beverages were replaced with recyclable alternatives. Taco Bell was also the first fast-food restaurant to offer American Vegetarian Association-certified food.
Starbucks is the globe’s biggest coffeehouse company, and they continue to embrace sustainable and eco-friendly habits. This chain plans to have 10,000 greener stores by 2025. These stores will generate solar and wind power that will create enough electricity to run all of the stores in the U.S. and Canada.
They have also continued with their commitment to eliminate plastic straws in all stores, instead using lids that have an opening that makes sipping easier. They have implemented paper straws too.
Starbucks also works closely with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and has over 1,500 LEED-certified stores that span across 20 countries.
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4. Ben and Jerry’s
About 90% of U.S. households regularly reach for a sweet, frozen treat. One of the brands you’ll find most often in America’s freezers is Ben and Jerry’s.
With 500+ storefronts across the world, Ben and Jerry’s is popular and, thankfully, eco-friendly in many ways.
For example, they use fair trade ingredients for their 50 flavors. This means that the workers who harvest the sugar, cocoa, bananas, and vanilla used in their ice cream are paid a living wage for their work. They also ensure that the ingredients they use are harvested with sustainable methods that won’t harm the environment.
5. Food delivery businesses
Even food delivery businesses like Uber Eats and Grubhub are going green. Uber Eats no longer automatically includes plastic utensils and straws with their deliveries; instead, the customer needs to specifically request them. They also encourage the restaurants that use their delivery services to embrace environmentally-friendly practices.
As for Grubhub, this biz is making efforts to counterbalance carbon emissions from their delivery vehicles. They calculate the average delivery distance and multiply it by the average miles per gallon of a delivery car as well as the number of deliveries placed per month. They then buy enough carbon credits to offset that number.
That’s not all, either. In 2010, Grubhub worked with Carbon Solutions Group (CSG) to support the Garcia River Forest in California that had been affected by deforestation. An environmental collaboration like this one would be great to see repeated by others in the food industry.
Deciding where to put your dollars
Fast food companies are well-known for producing unhealthy eats so it’s nice to get some good news about them on the eco-friendly front. Whether you order from them or another business, the lesson here is to be conscious about where you’re putting your money. By backing companies that you believe in, whether it’s for their green practices or another reason, your spending habits can make a difference.
Furthermore, let your favorite businesses know the eco-friendly changes that you’d like to see from them, whether it’s food, green fashion practices, sustainable makeup, or anything else. As the consumer, you are vital to their success and the more people that request a change, the more likely they are to implement it.