A fellow Kentlands Citizen, Randy Bograd, posted a brief note on “plogging” on nextdoor.com a few days ago. It sounded like something entirely new and appeared to be worthy of a bit of investigation.
It was: there is a new fitness trend emerging in Sweden that goes by the sobriquet, “plogging.” Why? Because it combines litter collection (the Swedish “plocka” can be translated as pluck, pick, harvest, reap, or gather according to interglot.com) with jogging. Bograd added that he and his wife walk, rather than jog, and so they believe they practice “plawking.” That small differentiation notwithstanding, Bograd asserts that this provides a “relatively trash free, and more pleasant” walking route for a week or two.
Personal experience shows that Bograd is correct about improved views, but back to plogging!
According to the plogga Facebook page, “Plogga is a popular movement and organization. The fact that plogga is about to pick trash while jogging. It also goes as well to walk, paddle, skate, bike or whatever you prefer to move. It is all about doing something about our environment and health before it is too late …” The automated translation leaves a bit to be desired, but it’s easy to get the picture. This is an idea that combines cleaning up litter, especially the plastics that are already a huge problem in the various ocean gyres around planet Earth, with some exercise and a fair amount of camaraderie. Reviewing the various plogging websites, it’s clear that friendly competition (most trash? fastest adjusted speed?) is already to be found. Can formal events, perhaps modeled on fishing tournaments, be far behind?
The Kentlands Citizens Assembly (KCA) is ready to help our friends and neighbors take up plogging, the newest and most exciting athletic opportunity since pickleball! In fact, the KCA is so far ahead of this social curve that we have had trash picking “rigs” available for ploggers to borrow at the Clubhouse since 2016, we just did not know the right term. Why wait for Earth Day, which comes but once a year? Just stop in and ask to borrow a rig at the front desk, then “walk, paddle, skate, bike or whatever way you prefer to move” and move that trash from the bushes and streams into the trash cans.
Safety first: if your plan is to perform fancy feats that combine litter picking with a bicycle in motion, please wear a helmet, arrange for emergency personnel to be available, and have someone take lots of pictures for us to publish in the Crier.
Young people in need of Student Service Learning (SSL) hours can also ask our Front Desk Staff for the appropriate verification form as the KCA has partnered with the Kentlands Community Foundation to provide that benefit to our residents as well.
There is plenty of opportunity for each of us to have a similar, and very beneficial, impact whether it is cleaning the recurring mess in the bushes between Tschiffely Square Road and Rachel Carson, from our many wetlands, or the “party spots” that seem to attract more young adults than actually live in the Kentlands. We have plenty of trash, and especially empty plastic bottles, lying around just waiting for the next plogger to come along.