Chipotle Turns Green

New mexican restaurant in Gurnee features environmentally responsible design

The burritos at Chipotle are turning "green." But don't worry; they're still safe to eat.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, a chain of restaurants specializing in Mexican-American burritos and tacos, is well-known for its high quality of food and atmosphere for affordable prices. Now the business is blazing a trail in environmental responsibility.

A new Chipotle restaurant opening in Gurnee will have a six-kilowatt wind turbine that will generate 10 percent of the restaurant's electrical needs.

"The wind turbine is a symbol of our intent to design and build our restaurants more efficiently and environmentally friendly," Steve Ells (founder, chairman, and CEO of Chipotle) told MarketWatch.

Not only that, the free-standing restaurant will also include use of recycled drywall, primers and paints with fewer chemicals, LED lighting, water-conserving faucets and toilets, native plants that require less fertilizer, and asphalt in the parking lot that will reflect sunlight (instead of absorbing it) thereby making the entire site cooler.

The new Chipotle will likely be among the first LEED-certified restaurants in the country, and you can expect to see more of these in the future. The chain is hoping to attract more customers with this "green" move, especially during these economically unstable times when every patron's dollar is even more precious.

However, just because the restaurants are better for the planet, that doesn't mean the burritos are any better for you.

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