Joyful activism


I love this project, called TRASH: any color you like, by the artist Adrian Kondratowicz. The project involved getting local businesses in a particular area to put out their trash in these specially designed hot pink polka-dotted bags. Typically we pass by piles of garbage bags on our city streets without blinking, but these are so strikingly different, we can help but take notice. And in the process, the artist hopes, we’ll reflect on just how much trash we throw away.

I love this because it’s one of many examples of what I see as a new trend in social and environmental advocacy: joyful activism. Joyful activism looks to incite changes in behavior not by scaring or shaming people, but through the power of positive emotion. I can’t help but think that when we’re made aware of an issue through this kind of joyful disruption, we receive the information with a different level of openness, and that we might just be more receptive to the idea of change.

Hey, Guess What?

The Aesthetics of Joy is now a book! Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness is now available.

Learn more


  1. I would love to find out where I might purchase these wonderful trash bags.

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