I never thought I would see the day, but McDonald’s has announced the opening of their first ever net-zero energy restaurant. And woah, it is big news.
Conveniently located at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, and designed by Ross Barney Architects, this new restaurant has a renewable energy system that covers 100% of the energy required for a full year of operations.
Built in a “storehouse,” the branch is tailor-made to respond to the humid climate of the city and uses solar glass panels as well as a V-shaped roof that cover the entirety of the building. For the majority of the year, a naturally ventilated system is in operation, and blind windows have been installed so that once the weather calls for air conditioning the blinds automatically close. If that’s not enough for you, there is a wall covered with plants that absorbs carbon dioxide.
McDonald’s has been known for being a go-to hangover food, and one of the cheapest and arguably the easiest fast food chains to get food at. As a kid, I loved getting Happy Meals and though I am aware that the quality of the food may not be *coughs* the best, it still holds a space in my heart for bringing joy. But I am proud that they are doing this and starting to respond to the climate needs of our host planet. The chain is working hard on reducing their gas emissions by 36% by 2030.
The restaurant is still in its soft opening phase and catering solely to Drive-Thru and McDelivery orders.
Photo via McDonald’s