I first heard of plogging about this time last year. It was something that a few teens were doing locally, and they made it to the newspaper. They took on an anti-litter trend that became popular in Sweden, where the trend got its name.
Plogging refers to an activity where walkers, joggers and runners head out with a bag and collect trash along the way as they find it. Whether it’s along a nature trail or along the sidewalks of their neighborhood, it’s meant to help get trash out of nature.
This year, it seems that the trend isn’t just a tiny one by activists and people who are willing to stand out. This year, plogging has gone global and both fitness and environmental fanatics are tapping into it.
Plogging was first started in Sweden in 2016 by Erik Ahlstrom. He began doing it in the town of Are, which is a town known for hosting alpine skiing world championships. Now, the whole world is catching on and those interested in fitness are picking up trash that shouldn’t be along their workout routes. It is being done by individuals and groups alike.
In fact, Mexico City currently holds the world record, as four thousand people took part in plogging there in a single day. That said, it is done regularly by thousands upon thousands of people across India, despite the fact that the numbers have not been officially recorded. In India, running is more common than anywhere else in the world. Now, those runners are picking up trash, too, with estimates saying that there are around 10 thousand regular ploggers in the country.
The word is a combination of jogging and the Swedish term “plocka”, which means to pick. So, this pick-jogging trend is making it easier for people to improve their personal fitness and the fitness of their natural spaces, too.
I personally think it’s a fantastic idea. I’ve been trying very hard to push myself to take on greener lifestyle efforts. I was very affected by Greta Thunberg and while I can’t say that I’m quite up to her green standards, I’m attempting to make changes that will get me closer every day. At the same time, I’m trying to use these changes to make it easier for me to control my weight.
Plogging fell right into that sweet spot of getting out there and being active while doing my bit for the environment at the same time. The funny thing is that I think a lot of the litter in my neighborhood comes from garbage day when it’s windy and recycling bins blow over. Still, it’s up to each of us to do our parts to make sure that our trash doesn’t end up harming the planet. It makes me feel all the better when I’m out there with my tote slung over my shoulder, jog-walking along until I can grab another piece of litter off the grass or from between trees.