Don’t Walk… Run and Start Plogging!

The word plogging comes from jogging and “plocka upp,” the Swedish word for ‘pick-up’.

Unedited photo by NPS, Andrew Cattoir

While running outside, one of the most exciting aspects is what you’ll see. The scenery of the outdoors doesn’t compare with the sight of a tv or mirror wall a treadmill provides indoors. Not to mention different seasons and weather conditions provide something new for runners to observe. The autumn months offer trails and roads paved with fall foliage, winter brings around ice and snow as the temperatures drop, and during the spring and summer, the trails and paths jolt to life again as plants bloom and people take advantage of warmer weather.

But there is one part of running outside that remains consistent throughout all seasons – litter. Whether running through a park, in a neighborhood, a busy street, or even a secluded trail, litter is always within view. I’ve attempted to do my part when running on the Capital Crescent or Rock Creek Park trails in D.C. but running shorts don’t always have the most plentiful of pocket space.

This is where plogging comes in.

Plogging is a fitness craze that first began in Sweden and is gaining popularity in the U.S. The word plogging comes from jogging and “plocka upp,” the Swedish word for ‘pick-up’. The activity involves individuals or groups of joggers with trash bags picking up pieces of garbage as they run, and since plogging involves running as well as squats, it can potentially provide a more intense workout.

Don’t forget to dispose of your trash properly after your plog!

The plogging trend is spreading across the U.S. thanks to its health and environmental benefits. Already, social media channels are full of photos of plogging hauls with the hashtag #plogging and river organizations are hosting plogging cleanup events.

With the weather getting warmer, life is returning to trails, sidewalks, and parks. With all those people outside there is bound to be more trash, but also more people to help pick it up. If you want to register or volunteer at clean-ups to try out plogging, National River Cleanup can help to make it easier and even supply groups with trash bags for their plog.

So, get out there and plog away!

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