Do you enjoy running on the beach but hate dodging the trash others leave behind? If your answer is yes, it may be time for you to try plogging! Plogging, also known as eco-running, is a Swedish pastime which involves removing litter while jogging or running. The sport came about as many joggers became overwhelmed by the amount of trash along their routes and decided to do something about it. While the activity originated in Sweden, it has also become popular in Scandinavia, Germany, and most recently the United States.
Plogging And Your Health
Did you know that plogging burns more calories than jogging? According to an article written by Allison Klein, plogging can help you burn up to 288 calories, while regular jogging only averages around 233 calories (Klein, 2018). This Swedish workout not only counts as cardio, but it also helps to improve muscle conditioning with each squat and lung. By removing litter from the ground, ploggers are intensifying their workout and increasing their activity level.
Plogging And the Community
In addition to helping you burn calories, plogging also helps the community by keeping it clean. When you plog, you remove litter, thus improving the aesthetic appeal that both locals and tourists appreciate. When visitors enjoy themselves, they tend to spend more of their time and money sightseeing. This influx in tourism leads to a boost in the economy— thereby, creating better financial stability for local businesses in these areas. A clean community will even help boost the value of your home! According to an article released by Keep America Beautiful, 93% of homeowners say a littered neighborhood would influence their decision to purchase a home (Litter In America, 2010). By removing litter around the community, the aesthetic appeal is improved, thus bringing in new home buyers wanting to purchase property within the area.
Plogging And the Environment
As you may know by now, Plastic pollution in our ocean is an alarming issue. It harms marine and land animals alike. In fact, “around the world, an estimated one million birds and 100,000 marine mammals such as sea turtles die each year when they become trapped in plastic or eat it (Litter in the Seas and Oceans, n.d.)...” As ploggers, we can help prevent animals from ingesting plastic. By removing litter from the environment; we help prevent wildlife from ingesting harmful contents that may otherwise remain in their stomachs forever.
Plogging is simple— just make sure to be prepared! Comfortable running shoes can help. You’ll want to be sure your shoes have an adequate grip that will allow you to bend and lung for the litter on the ground. Latex gloves and a leak-proof biodegradable bag are also helpful for collecting litter. They will help prevent liquid waste from touching your skin or clothes. As you begin jogging, you’ll likely find plenty of plastic containers, single-use straws, wrappers, plastic utensils, and much more. Just be careful of sharp objects and broken glass! While helping the environment is essential, ensuring your safety is the most critical element. Stay safe and don’t go off the trail. Trust us; there is plenty of litter to be picked up on the designated road; therefore, it’s not necessary to go off the beaten path.
Don’t Be Overwhelmed By the Litter
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of trash that piles up; but remember to never to stop running. Pick up as much as you can without slowing down your pace. Think about it this way: every piece of litter you pick up is one less piece of trash that can harm our wildlife. Not only does plogging improve the environment, but it also improves the aesthetic appeal of the community, while providing you with a more intense workout!
Have you plogged before? Plan on going plogging? Share your latest adventures in the comments below! We would love to hear from you.
Klein, Allison (2018). ‘Plogging’ is the Swedish Fitness Craze for People Who Want to Save the Planet. It’s Making Its Way to the U.S.. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2018/02/23/plogging-is-the-swedish-fitness-craze-for-people-who-want-to-save-the-planet-its-making-its-way-to-the-u-s/?utm_term=.3be255a6f3dd
(n.d.) Litter In America. Keep America Beautiful. Retrieved from https://www.kab.org/sites/default/files/News%26Info_Research_LitterinAmerica_FactSheet_CostsofLittering.pdf
(n.d.) Litter in the Seas and Oceans. WDC KidsZone. Retrieved from http://www.wdcs.org/wdcskids/en/story_details.php?select=879