-by Bia Plake-
I have never seen this word before until I saw a post on the website called Nextdoor, and the title had only the word, “Plogging”.
I was like, “What the heck is that?” My curiosity button was triggered and I had to find out what it was about.
So I googled it.
It turned out it is not a real word but, of course, it had a page on Wikipedia:
“Plogging is a combination of jogging with picking up litter (Swedish: plocka upp). It started as an organized activity in Sweden around 2016 and spread to other countries in 2018, following increased concern about plastic pollution. As a workout, it provides variation in body movements by adding bending, squatting and stretching to the main action of running, hiking, or walking.”
I thought it was a brilliant idea, worth spreading! You exercise out in nature to improve your health, while at the same time improving your environment by taking the trash out.
I’m pretty sure lots of people have already done that without being aware of the label “plogging”.
The way I see it, the point is to build a movement and bring attention to the fact that everyone can help.
The concept is so simple: jogging while picking up trash on your way.
I discovered this “plogging” article when I was on my 51 days walking every day, and I immediately knew that once I had learned that, I had to do it. I couldn’t back out anymore.
In my mind, if I’m ignorant about the facts, it is okay not to do the right thing. On the other hand, if I know something is the right thing to do, I feel compelled to do it. It is like I would be cheating if I am aware of the fact that I could be doing something positive, but choosing not to do so. The internet has certainly changed the way we live our lives, and that includes all the information we can get from it!
It amazes me that I didn’t even notice all the trash along my way, mostly because I didn’t have that mindset. Now when I see garbage on my way, it almost screams at me. Somehow my eyes are pulled to it, and then comes the urge to pick it up! (To be honest, I don’t pick up every single thing each time, but I do make a “memory picture” to take it next time I’m out.)
And once in a while I just choose to take a brisk walk instead of running, with the intention of picking up trash.
The places that I walk are pretty clean but I was so surprised to see a full bag filled at the end of my walk. The same trash that could’ve been in the sewer and in the ocean is now where it’s suppose to be. Inside a trash can. It feels good to know that!
On one of my routes there is a woman that I recently noticed, who always has a bag with her, and a device to pick up the trash without bending.
Being germophobic as I am, (I am thinking of buying one for myself), that would be an ideal way for me to pick up trash without using my hands.
Whenever I see the woman doing this, I always thank her. I really appreciate her attitude and efforts.
It is not a matter of saving the world but doing your part to make a difference around yourself and your neighbors.
It also feels great!
Try it next time you are outside for a walk or a run!