The band ABBA may be Sweden’s best-known export to the U.S. But another Swedish export—“Plogging”—has also been gaining in popularity among Americans who are tired of seeing litter every time they go out for a run, walk, or bike ride.
Plogging is a mash-up of jogging and the Swedish term “plocka upp,” which means "pick up." The idea boils down to picking up litter while you jog. Other variations include “plalking” —walking while picking up litter—and “pliking” (biking and litter cleanup).
Plogging not only helps keep your community litter free, it’s good for your health. Think squats while jogging. According to the Swedish-based fitness app Lifesum, thirty minutes of plogging will burn 288 calories for the average person, compared with 235 calories burned by jogging alone. Lifesum even includes plogging as a trackable exercise on its app.
Plogging and plalking enable anyone to create a cleaner, greener and litter-free community. All you need is comfortable footwear and a bag for trash. If you have back pain issues, we recommend purchasing an EZ Grabber tool or something similar. These tools make it easy to clean up hard to reach litter within shrubs or brush.
If you want to be even more environmentally ambitious, separate clean recyclables, such as plastic beverage bottles, and drop them in your recycling bin. You will not only be improving your own health, but your local community's health and appearance too.
Take Your Bike Rides to a Higher Level by Pliking
Pliking is a bit more complicated than plogging and plalking and requires some skills. Peter Walter of Falmouth has been cleaning the Shining Sea Bike Path for the past 20 years. As you can see in the photo here, Peter's bike is fully equipped with bins for trash and recyclables. He also uses a trash grabber tool so that he does not have to dismount from his bike to collect litter.
Make it Social
To keep your street, neighborhood or community litter-free, encourage others to join you in your plogging, plalking, or pliking activities! Start a Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter page and share your accomplishments.
Successful plogging groups such as Plogging Newburyport have more than 200 members!
If you prefer some company, post your plans to go out and plogg, plalk, or plike on social media and invite others to join you.
Tag photos of your cleanup efforts using the hashtags #plogginginMA, #plalkinginMA or #plikinginMA to raise awareness and encourage others to join your efforts.