Greenwash Of The Week: A “Green” KFC/Taco Bell.


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A new KFC/Taco Bell store in Northampton, MA is proclaiming to be a green restaurant because they use 30% less energy and water than a normal store. The inside of the store has been designed with recycled materials and will convert waste into biofuels, which is great. However, calling a business “green” only because of the way the building is built is not exactly being true to the meaning. KFC/Taco Bell serves fast food, you see…and that is possibly the furthest thing from green that you can be as a restaurant. Sure, it’s nice that the building is attempting to be eco-friendly, but don’t be fooled – it’s far from green. Take these facts into account:

1. The waste generated by plastic straws, styrofoam food containers, and cardboard signs.
2. The food itself – full of high-fructose corn syrup and non-sustainably raised meat.
3. Does it have a drive-thru, where cars idle for quite a while to order their food?
4. Not a single typical fast-food joint was given a single green leaf on Greenopia’s latest rankings.

So yes, it is great that this company is trying to be green by doing some of the things they are doing. Unfortunately, it does not negate the fact that the rest of their entire business model is the furthest thing from sustainability that one could find. Greenwash? Yes indeed.

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  1. I go to Taco Bell only as a desperate measure (the veggie 7 layer burrito, hold the sour cream). I find that parking and going inside to order is A LOT faster at times that sitting in the drive thru (esp at lunch hour). I do wish fast food places would have recycling for all that single use plastic and cups. At other establishments that have lemon slices for the drinks (i put it in my water) i will take the cup home and recycle the cup and compost the lemon. I just hate waste! thanks for sharing that post!

  2. You’re so right!

    Here in Vancouver planning permission for drive throughs has been denied for many years, and they’re dying out.

    There’s no way that a place you drive to for food can be green!

  3. I saw this press release a while back, plus there were many blog posts around sortof arguing the same thing. I agree that it’s a bit of a green wash, although I heard they have Solatube Daylighting Systems installed in this place, which is actually really cool and unique for a fast food restaurant. Let”™s hope they work on improving their packaging so they can set an all around eco-friendly example for all other fast food chains.

  4. Fast Food just companies just don’t stop trying to fool people do they.
    The sad thing is people will rally think that they are doing something “green” by going there.
    Don’t be fooled!

  5. Last night I ate at KFC for the first time in about a year. I try not to eat that stuff for health and environmental reasons, but an ocasional decadent moment does seize me from time to time. Ignoring the obvious lack of green practices and unhealthiness of the food and how it is grown and processed, I was still stunned and disappointed that the formerly paper/cardboard containers had been replaced with plastic, including the “paper plates” they gave me for my take out order. All plastic. No where on them did they indicate they were compostable (perhaps recyclable, but not in my “progressive” town. KFC has much better (green) packaging in the UK, but not America. Businesses are such morons in this country, and we the consumer let them get away with it. I submitted a comment on the KFC website asking them why they changed to plastic and if it was compostable, and if not, chastised them for increasing our dependence on foreign oil by using petroleum based plastic and failing to green their business, and will not buy from them again until they correct the problem. I know, a lot of good it will do, especially as I eat there maybe once a year, but heck, at least I let them know how I feel.

  6. There are many shades of green, but McDonalds meat alone is a major environment issue. They need to start with their food and paper/containers first because that is a major issue as far as being green. Do you think that will ever happen? They are just trying to get in on the green movement. In my book there is a negative green shade for both of them.

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