Sustainability Tip: Plogging is taking the world by storm — our tips for a successful clean up | VailDaily.com
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Sustainability Tip: Plogging is taking the world by storm — our tips for a successful clean up

By Nina Waysdorf
Special to the Daily
Plogging combines jogging and picking up litter for a fun exercise that helps the environment, too.
Special to the Daily

Have you ever been out for a jog or taking a walk, minding your own business, and noticed trash and litter on the trails and paths? It can be a sad distraction, and worse yet, that trash can end up in our waterways and wildlife habitats. You hate to see it, but what can you do about it?

Enter your new favorite activity: plogging. It’s your opportunity to keep exercising while keeping our community clean.

Plogging, jogging while picking up litter, started in Sweden in 2016. In Swedish, “plogging” comes from plocka upp (to pick up) and jogga (to jog) to get the new verb, plogga. The activity has gained popularity in the past couple of years, especially due to rising concerns over plastic pollution. There are other variations too, like taking a palk (plogging walk) or a pike (plogging hike).

The Washington Post calls this mutually beneficial activity a “Swedish fitness craze for people who want to save the planet.” And its benefits are truly numerous. Our paths and trails reap the benefits quite clearly, and it really is a workout. Fresh air is always good for the body and soul, and whether your plog is a run or a walk you’re getting your body moving. Not to mention, plogging requires some squatting to pick up that trash, so you benefit from the extra glute workout as well.

Plogging has been adopted around the world and is gaining steam in the United States. Like jogging, it’s a common solo activity, but there are also many organized plogging events out there, like a run club with an extra twist. However you do it and whatever you call it, it’s a great activity for keeping ourselves and our environments clean. So next time you want to get moving, grab a bag and some gardening gloves and head out for a plog.

Here are four tips for a successful plog.

  1. Safety first: Always use your best judgment and only pick up trash that feels safe to handle. Avoid hazardous materials, broken glass and other dangerous objects.
  2. Sort out the recyclables: Throughout Eagle County trash cans are paired with recycling bins. If possible, put bottles, cans, and paper in the recycling. For more information about local recycling, download the Eagle County Waste Wizard app.
  3. Look out for highway and river clean ups: Throughout the Vail Valley, plenty of organizations host coordinated community-wide clean up opportunities. Eagle River Watershed Council hosts an annual River Clean Up in the fall and Highway Clean Up in the spring. Check their website for more information about these events!
  4. Share your plogging adventure: Snap your success and use the worldwide #plogging to keep spreading the activity. Sharing your progress with hashtags helps raise awareness and encourage more people to join.

Nina Waysdorf is the Zero Waste Coordinator at Walking Mountains Sustainability. Contact her at ninaw@walkingmountains.org.


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