A few days ago I stopped by the new LL Bean store in Burlington, Massachusetts. I'm a long-time LL Bean customer - a big fan of those never-in-style/never-out-of-style practical clothing items - jeans, t-shirts, turtle-necks, shorts - that comprise 90% of my clothing purchases now that I don't go into an office everyday. And a big fan of their customer-friendly policies: no questions asked replacements when an LL Bean good goes bad, coupon rewards, and free monogramming/free shipping if you use their credit card. That and being a sucker for homegrown New England companies, and someone who loves the State o' Maine...
(My only complaint about them over the years - other than the fact that you have to order navy blue t's and turtlenecks early or they run out - has been the barrage of catalogues that for a while there seemed to be flying at me every other week. But that seems to have subsided to a reasonable and welcome flow.)
And now yet another reason to love LL Bean: the toilets in the restrooms are dual flush. For those who aren't familiar with the concept, you flush in one direction for solid waste (more water used), the other for liquid (less). I've seen these toilets in Europe over the years, but I don't think I've ever seen one in the US. Even though water is the one natural resource we seem to have aplenty in New England, it was still good to see.
Of course, they're saving themselves on their water bills, but they are also helping preserve our increasingly fragile environment and raising the environmental consciousness of every shopper that uses their facilities. (And now that they've raised my consciousness, I will foreswear any more trips to the Burlington Store and go back to doing my ordering online, where I won't be polluting the air chugging back and forth in my car. But wait, if I go to the store, I won't have all that extra packaging hat comes with catalog shopping: the clothes I buy won't be in individually wrapped plastic bags (sealed for freshness?) with all that tissue paper tucked in. And besides, I'll only stop in if I'm already nearby, so I won't really be using up any more foreign oil, and I do have a fuel-efficient car to begin with, and that way I can check out in person whether those "ash" cords are more taupe or more gray...)
Still, it was nice to see those dual flush toilets, even though I think I may have accidentally flushed up when I meant to flush down.