Have you ever considered how recreational groups are often found protecting and stewarding the natural assets that make their activities possible? Or, how this benefits more than just that user group – and actually creates a better environment for us all?
For example, I’ve seen trail runners join trail maintenance crews and learned of paddlers that host river cleanup events. And the general public gets to enjoy these cleaner landscapes, not always being the wiser.
I’m not sure that those user groups have special names to describe their restoration activities; however, I recently learned of one that does!
Best of all, perhaps, is that it’s an activity that the general public can participate in – solo or in groups – because it isn’t formalized. It’s also an activity that just about anyone who enjoys jogging can perform.
It’s called “plogging.”
I’ll give you a minute to settle on the word.
An activity popular in Europe and now catching on here in the states, plogging describes the act of picking up litter while jogging (or running, or walking).
The term comes from a combination of the Swedish phrase “plocka upp” – meaning “pick up” – and the word “jogging.”
Now before laughing off the thought of it, think about the extra benefits the activity provides.
While you’re out and becoming a healthier version of you – doing extra squats, carrying extra weight — you are actually doing twice the good by clearing your local landscapes of man-made debris and beautifying your community.
Keep America Beautiful – a nonprofit organization seeking to inspire community stewardship and which has over 600 community-based affiliates, including Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, a Clinton County CleanScapes affiliate – recently partnered with Lifesum, a health app that allows ploggers to log, track and estimate calories burned, to help make this fad a more widespread healthy habit. And, get this: the app has actually announced that 30 minutes of plogging can lead a typical user to burn nearly 300 calories.
So next time you’re ready to go for a jog, or you grab the leash to take your canine on a walk, consider taking along an extra bag or two for trash or recyclables.
I know I’m planning to.
Share your experience with us on social media by posting images of you in action using #DoBeautifulThings, #CleanScapes, #KeepPABeautiful.
Learn more about plogging, tips, benefits and support from Keep America Beautiful here.
This piece was written by LaKeshia Knarr, a Clinton County CleanScapes Advisory Board member and outreach specialist for the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship.