A portmanteau is a word that is formed by combining two different words to create a new word with a blended meaning. For example, most of us have heard the words Brangelina, spork, bromance, and chillaxing. But what on Earth is plogging?
Well, it just happens to be the latest fitness trend that benefits not only you but the Earth as well, and it's popping up all over the world. Started in Sweden by trail runner Erik Ahlström, it's part litter collection and part jogging. The word "plogging" comes from the combination of "plocka" (which means "pick up" in Swedish) and "jogging," but a version of it can be done while walking, cycling, or hiking as well. Basically, it just means combining exercise with picking up trash and we think it's great!
There are a number of reasons why plogging may be even more beneficial than just doing the exercises by themselves.
- It introduces additional movements to your exercise that could burn more calories.
- Plogging breaks up the monotony of running or walking and adds an extra purpose to your daily workout.
- Those that plogg regularly say it makes them feel even better because it amplifies the endorphin-powered "runner's high" that many experience with jogging.
- It keeps you motivated mentally to do five more minutes, that extra mile, or those extra steps on the Fitbit just so you can get those extra pieces of trash.
So, with all the buzz surrounding this craze, you may be asking yourself how you can start plogging. Here are some quick pointers to send you off on your own plogging adventure.
- There are plogging groups on every continent except Antarctica, so if you just do a Google search in your city there is probably a plogging group already started near you. Go and join them.
- You must have a positive attitude toward trying something new and a willingness to get a bit dirty.
- Many ploggers like to carry reusable bags, gloves, hand sanitizer, and backpacks to help make the cleanup a bit easier and cleaner. However, many times you can find the bags to carry the trash you find in the same areas you are plogging—a double win!
- The whole point of plogging is to stay in motion, so you won't be able to pick up every single piece of trash along the way. A plogging buddy can help collect the pieces you miss.
- Make sure you try and sort the trash you find into groups that can be recycled and those that can't. Make sure to dispose of each properly. Call your local recycling center or visit their website if you're not sure.
- Post about it on social media using the hashtag #plogging to make it even more fun, share ideas, and encourage others to do the same.
Now that you understand what plogging is and how to get started, it's up to you to get out there and do it. Your location doesn't matter because about 90% of ocean plastic comes from land-based sources and simply getting this litter out of the environment can help keep it out of the ocean. If you can, come by a 4ocean Cleanup and put in the work—we'll make sure you get plenty of exercise!