Possibly the coolest & most impact-ful concept this year to come out of already pretty darn cool Sweden.
Plogging is a new word, combining the Swedish word “plogga” (to pick up) with “jogging”, that universal word, and the result is plogging.
All it means is runners picking up trash.
Could. Not. Be. Simpler.
Last month I wrote 2 blog posts about plogging in my personal blog – christinepemberton.me – because I felt that the whole issue of rubbish and littering was one that needed addressing in a general forum, and not justin a running context, given the magnitude of the problem here in India.
So, for anyone who didn’t read them at the time, here are the links.
I’m linking you to my personal blog, since you’re already here in the running one! That way, you can also see what I write about when I’m not writing about running 😛
So, my first post post was by way of an intro to plogging.
And then a follow-up post a couple of weeks later showed the extent of the challenge in our local park, and the observation by one of the youngsters in my running group that “rubbish has become invisible”.
Which brings me to yesterday.
The Delhi-NCR office of the Swedish company Ericsson held a family running event yesterday morning in the Aravali Biodiversity Park in Gurgaon, and keen to do their bit for the environment, they organised a post-run plogging session.
A couple of us went over to join them, and give a helping hand.
The significance of a Swedish company being the first corporate to organise a plogging session here in Delhi NCR can not be overlooked 🙂 🙂
The Gurgaon Aravali Biodiversity Park is one of our big success stories, with formerly degraded land being rehabilitated, the ground cover increasing and the wildlife returning (just like my own south Delhi local branch of the same park). It is also clean.
As I ran my 10k, up and down the slopes I actually thought “Whoops, perhaps this isn’t going to be such a successful intro to plogging after all.”
Hey, hey hey!!
Don’t get me wrong.
We don’t WANT litter, of course we don’t, but when a corporate arranges a special cleaning up drive, in order to motivate people, and then there’s not a whole lot to clean up, well…
Be that as it may, a core group from the Ericsson Runners stayed back, and off we set back along the trail, which had been cleaned after our run.
But oh my goodness me.
Despite looking clean, with every glass or paper cup or chip packet we picked up, with every metre we wandered from the path into the thorn bushes, the extent of the litter problem revealed itself and within 30 minutes we had filled 2 big garbage bags.
Remember the observation “Rubbish has become invisible”…
The good folk who cleaned up, braved the fierce sun, got stuck in thorn bushes, all of them agreed that though the park superficially looked clean, it was still depressingly littered, with horrid caches of rubbish, which then gets blown around, or spread by stray dogs.
How horrid is this?
A big shout out to the Ericsson Runners, who became brand ambassadors in a way for yet another Swedish incentive 🙂
Here they are in action :
Here’s wishing the Indian-Swedish ploggers all the best – do, please, take the initiative forward, guys!