What exactly is plogging, you ask? Before you get too excited, you should know it’s really just going for a run and picking up litter along the way. (Or maybe that does get you excited — we’re not here to judge.)
Like so many forward-thinking practices, this one comes from Scandinavia — Sweden to be exact. In fact, the word “plogging” is apparently a combination of the Swedish phrase “plocka upp‘ (which Google Translate tells me means “pick up”) and jogging.
The BBC traces plogging back to an October 2016 Instagram post by retailer Scandinavian Outdoor (who else?), which invited people to join a group, “pick ‘n jog.”
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Given how Insta-friendly plogging is — combining everyone’s favorite social media pastimes of showing off how much they work out and do good deeds — it’s actually surprising this has taken so long to catch on.
That’s not to knock plogging, though. If people want to run around and pick up garbage while they do it, more power to them. It’s advised that if you intentionally set out to plog, you bring a bag for the trash you collect and possibly even some gloves to make the whole experience a little less gross.
“Litter impacts our quality of life and economic development, and often ends up as marine debris, polluting our waterways and oceans and harming wildlife and the environment,” Mike Rosen, senior vice president of marketing and communications at Keep America Beautiful, said in a statement. “Plogging is brilliant because it is simple and fun, while empowering everyone to help create cleaner, greener and more beautiful communities. All you need is running gear and a bag for trash or recyclables, and you are not only improving your own health, but your local community too.”
So in case you were looking for a way to get your steps in and your good karma points, plogging may be the answer.