Harper College

Walk, Run or Plog

Plogging 2

Campus Recreation wants you to stay healthy and save the earth too!

Please join us during Earth Week (April 22 to April 26) to walk, run or plog. ‘Plogging’ is the Swedish fitness craze designed for those who want to save the earth too. Plogging is a mash-up of jogging and the Swedish term “plocka upp,” which means "pick up" and when combined with “jogging”, you get “plogging”. The idea is to pick up trash while you run or jog.

Not into plogging? You can also try “plalking” which is walking while picking up trash.

What is plogging?

The plogging fitness trend started in Sweden in 2016 and has since spread to other parts of the world, primarily via social media. Environmentally conscious runners have taken to collecting trash during their runs. The aerobically taxing and rubbish-collecting activity was founded by Erik Ahlström, Stockholm-based group Plogga. This group uses the city’s runners as a force for good for plastic trash collecting. His team of ploggers pull on their disposable gloves, grab a bag, and scan the streets for recyclable trash along their running route. Once the bag is full, it’s deposited into a recycling bin. Let's be like the Swedes and do our part in picking up the trash.

What You Need to Plog

Before you can start plogging there are some essentials and appropriate gear that you will need.

  1. A good pair of durable gloves to protect your hands.
  2. A bag for collecting litter. A plastic grocery bag or another type of small trash bag will do. 
  3. A good pair of running or walking shoes are a must along with and appropriate clothing for the activity and the weather.
  4. A bottle of hand sanitizer is essential for cleaning up after plogging or plalking.
  5. For those that don't want to touch the trash or bend over, it is essential to have a “claw” that makes it easier to collect litter without having to strain or touch.
  6. Be sure to scan the area as you move so that you can optimize your garbage collecting and stay safe. Plogging can be carried out along rivers, beaches, canals, trails, in parks, and in the woods.

How to Start Plogging

Plogging is an activity that can be done by yourself or in groups. Generally, plogging is a social exercise but can be done alone. Plogging in groups helps you stay motivated and fulfills the need to be social while practicing social distancing. Plogging in groups also helps you cover more ground. Finding family, friends and neighbors who like to walk, run or jog can enjoy plogging too. 

Safety While Walking, Running or Plogging

Because of crime and traffic, it is imperative to observe certain rules of safety and etiquette. By taking note of the following safety rules, you will not only be ensured of a trouble-free workout you will also increase your levels of enjoyment and pleasure.

  1. Dress correctly: Plogging in the dark is not recommended, however, if you must be out when it is still dark, ensure that you are dressed to be seen. Drivers at night or early mornings are rarely on the lookout for walkers and runners, so you need to wear light-colored or reflective clothing like shocking-pink or brilliant orange. Many brands of running and walking shoes have reflective material on the heels, and outdoor gear can be purchased with reflective strips. Reflective belts are also an option. Stay away from dark clothing colors such as blue, black or navy as this makes you virtually invisible. If you don't have reflective gear or light colored clothing, wear anything white.
  2. Walk, run or plog with another person: If at all possible, recruit a partner. Not only does this increase your safety but it also makes your training so much more enjoyable. If you do venture out on your own, always tell someone the route you will be on, what time you expect to return and share your location on your smart phone for the duration of the workout.
  3. Walk defensively: Never assume that all road-users know about the 'pedestrian has right-of-way' rule. Many of them don't.
  4. Lose the jewelry: Leave your valuables at home. 
  5. Vary your routes: Don't establish regular patterns by walking the same route at the same time every day by randomly varying your routes and the times that you go out. Not only is it safer, but it's a lot more interesting.
  6. Carry ID: Always carry some form of identification in case of an accident or medical emergency.
  7. Keep right: If you're walking on a cycling or pedestrian path, always walk or run on the right hand side so that faster walkers, runners and cyclists can easily pass you on your left. If you're out with others, don't hog or cross over the path without looking.
  8. Leave the earbuds at home: That way you will be alert to any potential dangers, be it a dog, a fast-approaching car or cyclist, or the sound of other people around you.
Last Updated: 4/29/24