McDonalds and Sustainability

This post comes to you from Cultura21

– come to think of it…

McDonalds and Sustainability. Sounds extremly logical, doesn´t it? These days, the construction of the first sustainable McDonalds store, comes to an end in London. Does that mean, that in the future the well known Fast Food Chain won´t be the place anymore where uncritical and environmentunfriendly voices are still welcome? Probably not. It does sound great at first, but in no way believable. The ¨green¨ turn is placed in the context of the Olympic Summer Games in London this year. The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) had the vision of an all-around effective event, not to miss out on the offered food. Luckily McDonalds is one of the main sponsors of the Games, besides well known cola and beer brands, and announced to make the vision real and serve high quality British food.

To put that to effect, the group built four supersize stores in the Olympic quarter. Needless to say, that part of the furniture can be recycled and reused later in one of the 15 new planned stores around the island. Pointed out very clearly is the dedication to energy efficiency, apparently something new for the chain. All these arrangements are in the spirit of sustainable development, which means there is nothing keeping the event from being anything else but sustainable… Except for the usual menu, rich on meat and fat, just as in every other such restaurant. But why not overlook this fact? After all the chocolate is going to be fair trade and the menu extended to fruit smoothies. That is all you need for being sustainable: Healthy, diverse food, the creation of 2000 jobs during the summer…

But wait a minute: 2000 employees selected from all over the world will get the chance to take part in making the world a better place. Certainly every single one of them is willing to charter their own plane to get to London; who cares about the environment more? At long sight, the most sustainable action of this Green Washing Campaign will be the dismantling of the four restaurants in Fall. And then, maybe, there will be some room for slowing down.

Elisabeth Lena Aubrecht - Elisabeth Lena is studying Cultural Studies (B.A.) at Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany. She is doing an internship at Cultura21. / Elisabeth Lena ist Studentin der Kulturwissenschaften an der Leuphana Universität Lüneburg und Praktikantin bei Cultura21.

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

Rock the Bike at Sunday Streets Mission | Soundwave Festival ((4)) Green Sound » June 20

Featuring the rockabilly acoustic punk sounds of Kemo Sabe (mandolin, guitar, upright bass)

Soundwave partners with Rock the Bike for this incredible free environmental music event. Rock the Bike is group that has created a pedal-powered stage, using off-the-grid electricity in the form of bike pedaling human energy to power amps, mics and instruments.

Pedal power is not only environmental but also community-building: an ice-breaking, fresh social activity that connects strangers in an electrifying new way: working shoulder to shoulder, rocking the party as a team. The musicians and Rock the Bike crew magically arrive on cargo bikes loaded with sound equipment, set those same bikes up to power the sound system, then load the bikes back up and vanish, all without consuming any fossil fuels.

Green Sound rocks Sunday Streets with the wicked sounds of Kemo Sabe on the Rock the Bike Stage. Come down and watch the spectacle, or help power the performance by pedaling away.

Soundwave Festival ((4)) Green Sound » June 20.

Record the sound around you for a map of UK soundscapes

Researchers at the University of Salford are building a sound map of the UK as part of a study into how sounds in our everyday environment affect how people feel about their environment.

For Sound Around You, researchers are calling for people to use their mobile phones or another audio recording device to record 10- to 15-second clips from different sound environments, or soundscapes.

The information on the project website is biased towards urban environments, but there is nothing exclusive about where the sounds may be recorded. Sound Around You aims to raise awareness of the influences of soundscapes.

People can then upload those recordings onto a virtual map, along with their opinions of the sounds and why they chose to record them. Recordings and responses will be analysed by acoustic scientists and findings will be reported on the Sound Around You website.