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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Reading Comprehension (8 questions)

  1. What is plogging?
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Critical Thinking Challenge

Why would it be difficult for hard-core runners to incorporate plogging...

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Vocabulary in Context

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192 Comments
  • #plogga Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 8:54 am
    plog your way in life
    • 100049072amarion
      100049072amarionTuesday, April 16, 2019 at 8:42 am
      yeah help save the earth people
      • shawnTuesday, April 16, 2019 at 8:36 am
        pick up trash.
        • spacemanbrady
          spacemanbradyTuesday, April 16, 2019 at 8:29 am
          I love running, but I don't see a lot of trash on the ground where I run, and I don't have a phone, so I can't be plogging, but if I do find trash, I will pretend to be plogging
          • fadepenguin
            fadepenguinTuesday, April 16, 2019 at 8:29 am
            Cool
            • A'MarionTuesday, April 16, 2019 at 8:26 am
              don't leave trash pick up trash don't throw it throw it away.
              • ishadowfox
                ishadowfoxTuesday, April 16, 2019 at 9:17 am
                then what will you DO with the trash? Keep it? Burn it?
              • Grumpy catTuesday, April 16, 2019 at 8:12 am
                I wish people will stop littering I might do this for Earth Day
                • chickomTuesday, April 16, 2019 at 7:44 am
                  Save the earth please it is vulnerable to us!
                  • thot master Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 7:38 am
                    it was so good
                    • bekahboo
                      bekahbooTuesday, April 16, 2019 at 7:22 am
                      Help save the earth! Go plogging! If you could, could you follow me!? I am trying to get to 100 and that would be a dream for me... and like I say always, I always follow back!
                      • ishadowfox
                        ishadowfoxTuesday, April 16, 2019 at 9:18 am
                        You're so right! Save the planet earth!
                        • 100049072amarion
                          100049072amarionTuesday, April 16, 2019 at 8:42 am
                          your right should save the earth.