Eco-Friendly Fitness, the Swede Way: How to Get Started “Plogging”

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: miya227)

If you haven’t already heard of the latest fitness trend sweeping the nation, now’s the time to listen up. Known as “plogging,” Sweden’s current workout craze has officially made its way to the U.S. shores, and it’s all about environmentally-friendly exercise.

A mash-up of jogging and the Swedish term “”plocka upp”—which means “pick up”—ploggers make it a point to stop and collect litter during their runs. Translation: You can help save the earth while getting your daily cardio.

Want to know more? Here’s a brief breakdown of the eco-friendly fitness trend that’s hitting the states.

So How Did Plogging Start?

Founded by Erik Ahlström, the Stockholm-based group Plogga made it their mission to turn the city’s runners into active environmentalists. Fueled by the philosophy behind the Swedish lifestyle trend lagom, plogging is a simple way to better the earth (and your community) while partaking in a random act of kindness.

How Do You Do It?

To be a successful plogger, just simply stop and pick up any litter you see along your jogging (or walking) route. To prepare, ploggers usually wear gloves while they run – to make handling trash easier—and always carry large trash bags. Once the bag is full, it’s either recycled or thrown away (depending on its contents), which ultimately reduces the amount of harmful litter that makes it way to the ocean (and winds up hurting wildlife and tainting drinking water sources for humans).

Here’s How to Get Started Plogging

1. Grab some plog-friendly tools. Whether it’s with a durable pair of gloves or a bona fide trash picker, you’ll want to have a foolproof method for picking up rubbish. Bring along a reusable (and easy to carry) tote bag to dispose of litter, and voila: You’re ready to plog!

2. Plog around. Don’t limit your plogging to just one measly route. Do yourself (and Mother Nature) a favor and plan out different plogging paths for each of your runs. This way, you can de-clutter more ground while exercising and score a nice change of scenery.

3. Make it a plogging party. Thanks to social media, finding people to plog with is easier than ever (there are even plogga Facebook groups!). Make a habit of inviting friends to join you on your weekend plog, or organize weekly group outings so you can spread the word about plogging while simultaneously disposing of tons of trash.