Plogging: A Fun Activity For Earth Day And Every Day

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Plogging is becoming popular worldwide (Credit: Ploga/Facebook)

Looking for a fun Earth Day activity? You may want to try plogging, or picking up litter while jogging. Odd as it may sound, the new "sport" is becoming extremely popular with runners worldwide, many of whom are posting images of themselves and friends holding bags of trash on social media.

Derived from the word jogging and "plocka upp," the Swedish phrase for pick up, plogging is the brainchild of Erik Alström. In 2016, after moving to Stockholm from a small ski community in northern Sweden, Alström became increasingly agitated at the amount of trash on the road during his daily bike ride to work.

Human pollution is harming marine and land animals (Credit: Protectallwildlife/Twitter)

Since picking up litter while on his bike was hard to do, Alström began incorporating the activity into his daily runs. "I was shocked by the amount of junk there was in nature," he said to unenvironment.org. "The same debris could remain in the road for several weeks without anyone picking it up, so I started picking it up. It felt good in my heart to clean up even a small place."

Other joggers soon joined Alström, and, by the end of 2016, the activity became so popular that official "plogging" events, with groups of runners enrolling, began sprouting up all across Sweden. As #plogging began trending on social media, the new "sport" started to spread beyond Sweden, first to other European countries and then worldwide.

The official online "Plogga" group now boasts members from over 40 countries, all the way from United States cities like Ohio to Thailand and Ecuador. Many school running clubs are also getting in on the action, posting photographs of themselves after going plogging together, or staging competitions that reward the runner with the heaviest trash bag.

Plogging is good for our planet and your body (Credit: Ploga/Facebook)

As it turns out, plogging is not just beneficial for the environment; it is also a more efficient way to exercise. According to Swedish fitness app Lifesun, an average person burns about 288 calories while plogging for half an hour. This is about 50 calories more than he/she would burn when just jogging. Additionally, the constant squatting to pick up litter increases the plogger's flexibility, while lugging around the increasingly heavy garbage bag(s) helps strengthen arm muscles.

This Earth Day, be sure to strap on your running shoes, grab a trash bag or two, and go plogging. Or better still, start a plogging team at school, or around your neighborhood, and make every day Earth Day! Most importantly, don't forget to let us know if you try this fun activity by adding your comments below.

Happy Plogging!

Resources: facebook/plogga, .unenvironment.org

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257 Comments
  • Bella Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 6:10 am
    We should keep this place clean thanks to the people that do thank you
    • Lacy leeThursday, May 23, 2019 at 6:08 am
      Wow I hope USA wins America for the win
      • NOOBWednesday, May 22, 2019 at 5:07 am
        Kewl
        • Eh4 Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 4:28 pm
          Love it
          • SarahFriday, May 17, 2019 at 3:01 pm
            Australia has lots of animals like elephants and and ginormous snake in the whole wild world the wild animals like tyres and gorillas actually the secret ones of the Jungle of gorillas in the whole
            • EllWednesday, May 15, 2019 at 1:51 pm
              This article is amazing Laura Leavitt is amazing
              • nateisawesome
                nateisawesomeWednesday, May 15, 2019 at 1:29 pm
                Looks fun to do I'm never going to do it but it still sounds fun
                • nx1005
                  nx1005Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 8:09 am
                  Also to encourage you more, you can recycle for money.
                  • nx1005
                    nx1005Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 8:08 am
                    We're forcing others to pick up our trash. How about we pick up after our selves
                    • nx1005
                      nx1005Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 8:06 am
                      this was a fairly short article but in taught me that at least some people do their fair share with the world. Earth gives us everything we need people, yet we are killing it in return