MyStoryYourStory — Pink power and what makes us tick

By Paula Damon

“Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it’s not going to get the business.” Warren Buffet, businessman, investor, philanthropist

For at least a year, I had been whining about the small dull green tubs with loose lids we die-hard recyclers were forced to use. I even put a call into the hauling company, suggesting they change over to the bigger receptacles, like nearby towns had done.

Awkward and cumbersome, those bins weren’t big enough for my weekly load of papers, wrappers, cans, labels and plastics.  They weren’t popular at all in my area. Our household was one of few using them, and I’m sure their homeliness seriously affected curb appeal.

As our garbage collectors quickly found out, color and size really do matter in this space. Now,  a majority of homes throughout town are sporting those tall hot pink recycle cans.

After our garbage hauling company started supplying customers with tall, slick hot pink recycling containers with easy flip-top lids and sturdy handles to push and pull, their recycling business grew by at least 60 percent.

I, too, was a fast adopter of the new pink cans, universally known and recognized in the U.S. for breast cancer awareness. As soon as they started popping up in my neighborhood, I called to request one.

Color does affect what we do. For years, experts have suggested that we cover our walls with pastels to encourage moods of peacefulness and harmony.

Marketing experts say color evokes emotions and changes how we behave. We are excited by red and calmed by blue. Science confirms that color satisfies our needs for stimulation.

With the many tactics retailers use to influence consumer response, color is one of the most influential methods. And, pink casts a powerful spell, especially over women.


Over the years, we women have progressed in sharing household duties with men. Yet, we still command most of the housework, including what we throw away, what we keep and what we recycle. This could explain the popularity of recycling in the pink.


There are other examples like this. Consider how far we’ve come from metal milk boxes where glass or plastic milk jugs were delivered every morning by the milkman on our front or back stoops pre-1970 or so.

A far cry from today’s adorable pint-sized milk bottles splashed with pizazz and strategically placed next to soda pop in convenience stores.

What’s in the bottle hasn’t changed much, save maybe more Vitamin D.  Today’s milk bottles are come in a variety of shapes and sizes, some are styled to-go with grip grooves.

Others are stackable, fitting more squarely in the fridge and still others are artfully designed with color and style.

While I am not a milk drinker, lactose intolerant, I’m intrigued by how milk has stepped up its game and is now sharing space quite competitively in dairy cases at the grocer’s and on convenience store shelves side-by-side with soda pops and specialty coffees.

My all-time favorite product makeover is what Tide has done to laundry soap with the Tide Pod, introduced on the market in the last year or so. Tide Pods are a detergent, stain fighter and brightener all in one cute little pinwheel pellet.

I admit I haven’t tried them, yet. Even though consumer ratings are somewhat poor with complaints the pods don’t completely dissolve in the wash, I like their colorful orange, blue and white stripes, cookie jar Tide Pod dispenser and no clean up or guessing, like liquid and powder laundry detergents.

I may try them. Someday.  Maybe. If they come in pink.

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