A group of kids hold up garbage bags full of litter. One girl smiles and gives a thumbs-up.

Grab your running shoes—and a bag—to go plogging

Ahhh, spring! The sun is shining, the snow has melted, the grass is green(ing), and flowers are starting to bloom. But wait! Look a little closer at lawns, parks, and sidewalks. Is that (shudder!) litter? But we are such considerate, environmentally friendly, and law-abiding citizens. We couldn’t have spent an entire winter unaware of the food wrappers, sandwich bags, and coffee cups lurking under the beautiful white canvas of our surroundings.

With spring comes spring cleaning. They go together like spaghetti and meatballs, like Ernie and Bert, like… well, you get the idea. And when spring cleaning, it’s important to remember not just the state of our indoors, but our outdoors too.

With all that uncovered litter just begging to be bagged, it’s time to focus on and embrace the greatest physical activity since prance-ercising. Plogging!

What is plogging?

The word comes from the combination of the Swedish term “plocka up” (pick up) and jogging. It’s an activity which is apparently so popular in Sweden and in other European countries that groups dedicated to plogging have formed. Think of it the chance to run, have fun, and to help pick up gum (I came so close with my rhyming).

Grab the kids, the neighbours, gloves for everyone, closed-toe shoes, a couple of garbage bags, and pick a safe route through your neighbourhood or around your local park. Remind your kids to avoid dangerous pieces of litter such as needles, glass, and batteries. Maybe you could take the kids to their schoolyards to see what they could pick up there too.

Plogging will give your kids fresh air, activity, and pride in their surroundings. And perhaps because they’re being made aware of the litter in their midst, they’ll think twice before either dropping or walking by garbage in the future.

Sweden. It has already proven its excellence in meatballs, unassembled furniture, and musicians (ABBA). And now it has shared its love of physical activity and keeping our planet a little greener. Plog on, ploggers!

4 responses to “Grab your running shoes—and a bag—to go plogging

  1. Tidying up tends to be intrinsically rewarding. It can be more tangible too. Yesterday we weren’t jogging but on our daily walk, my husband bent over to pick up a piece of litter and found a five dollar bill hidden in the tall grass. Double bonus!

  2. Never thought I’d be picking up trash while I paddled, but today, there were seven beer cans floating in the waters of Lake Okanagan – well away from shore. They could only have been tossed off of a boat deck. Truly disappointing to think that boaters would litter their lake like this. I picked them out of the water — they can have them back by contacting me. It was an interesting paddle – on the way in I saw something glittering in the water and retrieved it – a pair of sunglasses, guaranteed 100% UV resistant,

  3. Our paddling club PMPC has done a lot of plogging along the banks of the North Alouette. 7 – 10 of us (retirees) maneuver a Voyageur Canoe to pick up a lot of interesting debris and garbage while we practice our paddling skills, enjoying the outdoors.

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