Language is a powerful tool that can evoke emotion and thought. That is why I love seeing it used for good.
We're familiar with trash receptacles scattered on crowded city sidewalks, in front of restaurants, and stores. It's recently been becoming more popular to also pair them with another container for recycling.
This pairing has created the need for labels. Each can has a label indicating the can's purpose. "Trash" is printed on one can for garbage and "Recycling" on the other for recyclables.
These are straightforward labels that clearly communicate each can's purpose to the passerby. Is there something wrong with the labels? No, not necessarily. Can they be better? Yes. And someone figured out how.
During a recent trip to the grocery store, Whole Foods, on my lunch break, I came across a great revision.
Instead of "Trash," the container said "Landfill."
I couldn't believe it was so simple! This simple word change maintained the clarity in the can's meaning but now attached an emotional response. One that aims to cause the passerby to think carefully about where their object belongs.
Now, instead of just thinking, "trash, it's just going in this can," they're thinking bigger picture. "What I put in this can will end up in a landfill. In the Earth. Can it be recycled?"
This got me wondering. What other not obvious, but simple, changes like this are out there? What changes can you think of that haven't happened yet? Something to make things better in some way. Connect with me on Twitter [@flyinthecoop](https://twitter.com/flyinthecoop), I'd love to hear from you!