The hottest new eco-health trend: Plogging!

By Amelia Eldridge

If you’re anything like me at the start of a school year, your spare time seems in shorter and shorter supply. Luckily for me, I learned about “plogging” – a hot new eco-health craze sweeping the nation and world. Seeking to maximize efficiency in your spare time, plogging combines exercise with endeavor to clean up the planet, one piece of trash at the time. A clever melding of plocka upp (Swedish for “to pick up”) with jogging, the plogging trend challenges runners to collect litter along their routes – an activity both good for your body and the Earth. This isn’t a new concept – many outdoor fitness groups already perform trail maintenance and restoration. Plogging is merely a reintroduction to the work of nature-loving, workout enthusiasts. Not only does all the bending over enhance your abdominal workout, but litter both large and small can have serious negative impacts on animals and plants in an ecosystem. Any trash you remove helps beautify your running route and support natural habitats in your neighborhood.


How to plog (it’s easy!):

  • You’ll need: Standard running gear (shoes, socks, etc.), water, gloves, trashbag, trash picker (optional), and a friend (also optional, but way more fun!)
  • Go on your daily run! But this time, keep an eye out for any pieces of trash that cross your path. Pick them up to store in your trash bag before appropriately recycling or disposing at the end of your run.
    • Large pieces of plastic are easy to spot and retrieve, but smaller items like cigarette butts and styrofoam containers are also seriously damaging to ecosystems.
    • CAUTION! Make sure you’re wearing proper protective gear such as gloves, watch out for dangerous items like discarded hypodermic needles, and always be conscious of your environment.
  • Spread the word! Invite friends or family members along, take photos of your haul to post on social media, and/or start a plogging group in your area.


About the author

Name: Amelia Eldridge

Year in School: Senior

Major: Neuroscience + Public Health

Hometown: Oakland, CA

Favorite Outdoor Activity: Anything in the water or in the mountains!

Favorite Camp Food: Trail Mix

Ideal Outdoor Trip Destination: Koroyanitu National Park, Fiji

If you were stranded on a desert island, what/who would you bring with you: Bear Grylls and some chex mix