Disclaimer: I received a pair of Knockarounds to promote Plogging for Earth Day as a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews.
My Original Plan was to Celebrate Earth Day
My original plan was to double-down on my usual plogging efforts. I was off and running to the beach, trails, city sidewalks, parks, and streets of my neighborhood.
Why? 'Cause it's a nice way to say thanks to Mother Earth. And this year is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day! And, every so often I find interesting souvenirs.
Back Up a Minute -- What Exactly is Plogging?
Plogging is easy: it's the simple act of picking up trash while running. It began in Sweden, and quickly spread around the world. It's an excellent way to reduce the impact of plastics on our environment while getting a work out.
I've been plogging for as long as I've been running. When I see an abandoned wrapper or plastic bottle, I stash it in my pocket. Then, I toss it into the next available recycle bin or trash can.
That's why when Knockaround challenged me to celebrate Earth Day by plogging this April, I was all in! But then, COVID-19 changed the plogging landscape.
Plogging During COVID-19
By mid-March, the items I saw during my solo runs began to change. Gloves — lots of blue and purple gloves — and protective face masks. I decided to put my bare-handed, pocket-stashing plogging on hold. I needed plogging protective wear.
Can You Plog During a Pandemic?
Safety First — ALWAYS!
If you go out for a run for your mental and physical well-being you don't want to come back with a virus. (Insert Mom Voice: Use common sense while plogging so you don't catch or spread the Corona Virus.)
If you're stretching your legs in your neighborhood and see trash — pick it up only while wearing gloves or using a grabber. When you get home, throw your gloves, bag, and clothes into a hot, soapy wash cycle. Disinfect your grabber.
If Plogging Feels Risky Now, Try It Later
If plogging feels risky now, try it when COVID-19 is in our rear view mirror. It's always a good time to pick up trash and keep plastics out of our environment. Keep it in mind, and give it a try when daily life returns to normal.
If you don't want to plog, may I suggest you find a tree-filled trail or walkway and soak in the beauty? Gratitude is always a safe activity!
Wash Your Hands, Again!
Go ahead. Wash them again and use lots of soap and friction. Follow the advice from the World Health Organization on proper hand-washing.
WHO advises that washing your hands properly takes as long as singing "Happy Birthday" twice. Use their images below as a guide for good technique.
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This isn't running related, but it's too good not to share. This restaurant chain in Italy uses bucatini pasta as straws. (Watch video).
In the UK, Stroodles makes pasta straws for the hospitality industry. GoSili silicone straws from Michigan and metal straws are popular around here.
This idea is brilliant. Get yourself some bucatini pasta instead of using plastic straws. If that's not feasible, invest a couple of bucks into reusable silicone or metal straws.
Bottom line: every little bit helps! File this under, "Why didn't we think of this sooner?"
Have you heard about Plogging? There's been a lot of it going around here lately in celebration of Earth Day. Yet, it's a great idea any time of year.
The word "Plogging" is a combination of "jogging" and "plocka upp," a Swedish term for picking up. It refers to stopping to pick up trash while you run. It's a nice way to reduce litter and show appreciation for the places where we run and walk outside.
Plogging Started in Sweden
People have been plogging in European countries for a while. Now, the idea is getting popular with U.S. runners. The first Facebook group, Plogga, showed up in January 2017. You can find dedicated Ploggers on Instagram, too. My favorite is Plastic_SolutionPollution.
All you need to plog is a place to put the trash you find. Take a grocery bag or a garbage bag. You may want to bring a pair of gloves. If you want to plog in a group, look for local activities organized by Keep America Beautiful.
Plogging on Trails vs City Streets
I spotted trash out on the trails the other day. Not cool, hikers. Not cool. Since I was wearing my FlipBelt Crops (of course!) I realized they were perfect for plogging.
It was easy to grab food wrappers and bottle caps and put them in my pockets. I decided next time I'd stash a bag and gloves in my FlipBelt Crops for a serious plogging session.
I think plogging works best on trails, or less busy suburban routes. You're able to run and pick up trash. If you're on city streets with heavy pedestrian traffic, it's more challenging. In most cities, it's lots of picking up and little running.
I've read about running groups that run first, then take 20-30 minutes afterwards to pick up trash. That's certainly an easier way to plog in the city.
Plogging Can Be a Workout
Some runners like to run a route once with an eye out for trash, then repeat the course to pick it up. I use this method when I run around a nearby lake.
However you plog, it's good for the environment, and adds stretching and squatting to your workout. In fact, the Swedish fitness app Lifesum, lists plogging as a fitness activity. If you're wondering, it burns 288 calories in 30 minutes.
Disclaimer: I received a pair of FlipBelt Crops to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!
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