Take A Plog On Earth Day

Plogging away! (Photo by M. Quintero)

What happens when you combine your jog with the collection of a little litter?

You get “plogging” – the latest trend in fitness and environmental consciousness.

Plogging is a straightforward concept; it is the integration of jogging and plocka upp (Swedish for “pick up”) – so you are picking up trash while exercising. The workout craze started in Sweden and has become popular worldwide.

Beautify your neighborhood! Pause your jog to pickup some trash. (Photo by M. Quintero)
Beautify your neighborhood! Pause your jog to pickup some trash. (Photo by M. Quintero)

This eco-friendly activity helps to navigate around the social stigma of “touching trash.”  It also shines a light on two major global concerns:

1) The environmental consequences of plastic waste, a focus of Earth Day 2018 festivities. The concern is not just for the effects on land terrain and wildlife, but also on the oceans and marine creatures.

2) Rising obesity statistics. It is possible to burn about 50 more calories in 30 minutes of plogging (288 calories) as opposed to just regular jogging (235 calories).

Proper disposal and recycling methods are important too; plogging is supported by Keep America Beautiful. The nonprofit organization (that has campaigned for litter prevention for more than 60 years) recommends ploggers visit KAB.org for more about community improvement programs as well as IWantToBeRecycled.org where a search by ZIP code will reveal recycling center locations.

Here are additional tips for making the most out of your plog:

  • Burn even more calories by adding in some extra squats and arm reaches as you pick up litter.
  • Sign up for the health app Lifesum where you can track your plogging hours.
  • Attach a bag to a fanny pack (or two bags to keep trash separate from recyclables).
  • Take a pair of gloves (plastic, rubber or even garden) with you for those messy garbage grabs.
  • Try organizing a “group plog” – ask your friends to join you on your eco-friendly endeavor.
  • Pocket some extra money by visiting a local recycling center that offers cash in exchange for your recyclable bottles and cans.
Burn more calories – get some "lifts" with those bags! (photo by M. Quintero)
Burn more calories – get some “lifts” in with those bags! (photo by M. Quintero)

So this Sunday, celebrate Earth Day by keeping fit, having fun and doing some good. Get your workout in while also beautifying your community. To encourage the growth and longevity of this worthwhile, eco-aware fitness fad of “plogging” – take photos and share them using the hashtags #plogging, #recycling, #EndPlasticPollution and #DoBeautifulThings.