I Plog for a Week

If you clicked on this article, you might already have some idea what plogging is, most likely you’re here trying to find out. Plogging comes from the Swedish “plocka upp” which translates to “pick up” and is the latest trend of picking up litter while jogging.

 

        The idea is simple, and its simplicity makes it almost genius. As a runner, I pass by a lot of litter, and rather than just running past it, I could always pick it up and dispose of it properly. With the rising concern surrounding plastic pollution and the effects it has on wildlife, the oceans, and health, it seems like a worthy effort to take on.

 

To put it in the words of marine biologist and plogger Melanie Knight

"It just seemed like the perfect combination kind of making a small change while doing something I'm already doing on a daily basis," (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/plogging-jogging-trash-pick-up-1.4594739)

 

After having known about plogging for months I decided to give it a try, so for a week I will be taking my reusable cloth bag out running with me- let’s see what I found.

 

Run 1

I did not think I would be stopping so much, and my time definitely suffered from all of the pauses to pick up trash. Not even 2 kilometers in, and my bag was so full I had to stop collecting trash- something I genuinely did not think would happen; I thought I ran in a clean neighbourhood. On returning home, this is what was in my bag.

Run 2

This time I waited until I was past the point I had gotten on my original run before I started picking up trash- I still didn’t make it home before I had a full bag. Side note, if you ever decide to try this for yourself do not be like me. Wear gloves! While I’m pretty sure it had more to do with the grass, I had hives on my arm for my entire run (they went away once I washed my hands). Again, most of the waste I found came in the form of beverage containers, whether it be pop cans, paper coffee cups, or plastic water bottles. The good thing is that cutting these products out of your life is not only good for the earth (way less trash) but good for your wallet and health too.

Run 3

This time around I decided to take the opportunity to use public trash cans so I wouldn’t be running with a near bursting bag of garbage. A little over halfway through my run I dumped my bag out.

My bag ended up being equally as full when I got home as well.

After my experience with plogging the ultimate question is, would I continue to plog? Plogging definitely interfered with my run, my average pace being much slower than it potentially could be, and running with a bag of trash is not exactly comfortable; however, by my third plog I did notice a real difference in the amount of trash I passed by, and it felt good to make a noticeable difference. While I do not think I will plog every run, I do hope to keep it up, maybe once a week for a more relaxed workout on days when I don’t have to be somewhere an hour later.

 

For those who like to run, or who are looking for a fun way to motivate yourself into starting, I say try it out.  It won’t hurt, and it will leave your path a little cleaner than you found it.