SOURCE: Ronald McDonald House Charities

Ronald McDonald House Charities

April 22, 2011 14:55 ET

RMHC Helps to Create Sustainable Communities Around the World Through Green Environmental Practices

Savings Associated With Eco-Friendly Actions Allows the Charity to Direct More Money to Programs That Serve Families in Their Greatest Time of Need

OAK BROOK, IL--(Marketwire - Apr 22, 2011) - A typical household of four in the United States uses 920 kWh of electricity per month and 400 gallons of water each day. Now think about how much energy is used for a 25-bedroom home or how many loads of laundry need to be washed for 25 families every day. With more than 300 Ronald McDonald Houses around the world, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) understands that its work to support more than 7,200 families every night in its Ronald McDonald Houses can add up to a lot of energy, heat and water. For this reason, RMHC has been conscious of taking care of the environment through the implementation of local environmental initiatives at some of its Houses and programs around the world.

Such environmental initiatives include adopting energy-efficient practices, reducing, reusing and recycling waste, conserving water, utilizing green products and building green. The result is greener space that is not only a safe haven for RMHC families but also reduce operational costs, which then allows the Charity to ensure donations direct support programs that help strengthen families while their child receives much needed medical treatment.

Because RMHC serves more than 4.5 million families a year, it is no wonder that every Chapter's actions, small or large, can contribute greatly to helping create healthy communities in which RMHC operates. Together, RMHC Chapters are taking important steps to promote environmental sustainability. In the U.S., Latin America and Europe, for example, there are several "green" Ronald McDonald Houses that have been built to be "homes-away-from-home" for families so they can stay close by their hospitalized child:

  • The 30-bedroom Austin and Central Texas Ronald McDonald House is the first House in the world to attain LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum NC (New Construction) certification, the highest level of green building awarded by the United States Green Building Council. The solar-powered House provides a supportive living environment for guests with abundant natural lighting, toxin-free materials, native landscaping, and carefully controlled indoor air quality.
  • California's first solar Ronald McDonald House in San Diego has 47 bedrooms and uses 17.5 percent less energy than a typical building in California. It has earned the Silver LEED certification for new construction.
  • The second expansion of the Ronald McDonald House in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, included solar panels to heat the water, motion sensors to turn on the lights and heat when people are in a room, and a space on the fifth floor built to dry laundry with the sun and wind minimizing the use of dryers.
  • Ronald McDonald Houses in Germany implement an ecological washing ball which uses 80 percent less detergent. Also, a national "Green Team" was created to monitor and encourage environmental sustainability actions by RMHC staff, volunteers and families. And, thanks to the generosity of the Amsterdam company GreenHabits, a corporate donor, employees at RMHC of Germany will soon drive environmentally friendly cars which have an energy-efficient e-Hdi engine.

In addition, the Charity demonstrates its commitment to children and the environment through its Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program, a fleet of state-of-the-art mobile clinics built specifically for delivering pediatric health care services to 150,000 children every year in vulnerable communities around the world. Some of these vehicles' supplementary heating systems are zoned for heat only when needed. Savings in fuel and electricity can be as much as 66.7 percent. Furthermore, Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles manufactured in and after 2008 operate off clean hybrid generators and can be fueled by biodiesel, a blend of 5 to 20 percent ethanol and petroleum distillates that can result in even lower emissions.

All of these significant improvements demonstrate the commitment RMHC is making toward sustainable building and operations and to the environment. However, there are small changes the Charity promotes that also make a positive impact:

  • A pull-tabs collection program. Pull-tabs from aluminum cans are taken to local recycling centers, where they are weighed and redeemed for cash per pound. This money is donated to participating local RMHC Chapters. Apart from benefiting the families served by the Ronald McDonald House program, collecting and donating pull-tabs for recycling is an environmentally friendly practice as well.
  • RMHC of Central Oregon recycles all of their left-over letter head and turns it into scratch pads for staff, volunteers and guests. Also, electric golf carts now transport families back and forth to the hospital in a more cost-efficient manner -- saving families and the House thousands of dollars in gasoline costs.

"While pursuing our mission in support of children and families, RMHC is committed to being careful stewards of the environment," said Marty Coyne, president and CEO, Ronald McDonald House Charities. "In doing so, we work to be a positive force in protecting and preserving the environment, supporting healthy communities, and conserving natural resources. In addition, RMHC saves in operational costs allowing us to allocate the financial resources from our donors into what matters the most: providing stability and resources to families through our three core programs."

RMHC is making smart choices for the environment and the families it serves. By implementing eco-friendly programs, RMHC and its Chapters are reducing operational costs, allocating dollars to serve more RMHC families and taking good care of the planet along the way.

About Ronald McDonald House Charities

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) corporation, creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well being of children. Through its global network of local Chapters in 52 countries and regions, its three core programs, the Ronald McDonald House®, Ronald McDonald Family Room® and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®, and millions of dollars in grants to support children's programs worldwide, RMHC provides stability and resources to families so they can get and keep their children healthy and happy. All RMHC-supported programs provide a bridge to quality health care and give children and families the time they need together to heal faster and cope better. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter (@RMHC), or like us on Facebook ( Global).

Ronald McDonald House Charities, RMHC, Ronald McDonald House, Ronald McDonald Family Room, and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile are all registered trademarks of McDonald's Corporation or its affiliates and are used with permission.

Contact Information

  • For more information, contact:
    Clara L. Carrier
    (630) 623-6573 Office
    (630) 209-7617 Cell Phone or
    Email Contact