Natural “Plogging” after Dorian


Dear Reader:

A new type of exercise is catching on in the United States…a Scandinavian term known as “plogging.” The term is a mash-up of jogging and the Swedish “plocka upp,” meaning pick up. In this case, litter.

If you have witnessed joggers with plastic bags and gloves running lately… most likely it is a “plogger.” It is the new exercise to get healthy, maintain one’s balance, lose weight about the waist, and save the planet all in one. You run, stop, pick up trash, put it in the bag, and continue running and picking up…to clean the environment.

The founder of this new environmental movement is a  57-year-old Swede (Erik Ahlstrom) who recently moved back to Stockholm…only to discover that its streets seemed more littered than ever. He began a daily regiment of running and collecting trash along the way. Soon he started a website with other friends and the movement caught on on globally.


I couldn’t help but think that with these last post-Dorian days…most of my neighbors and friends have been outside in truly “obnoxious” heat and humidity (up in the nineties) trying to clean up yards and also, in my case, clean out refrigerators. We each are cleaning out and cleaning up the environment stick by stick, branch by branch, leaf by leaf and tree by tree.

The desperate run on heavy yard bags was evident when I stopped by Tractor and Supply to ask about large yard bags and the clerk said there were no more large paper trash bags. (Each county has their own regulation for picking up debris…in some it must be in paper bags, others plastic bags and in Dorchester…no bags.) You have to build mounds like this…outside my home. The whole street is filled with “mounds” of debris.

But…there was one, just one last box of heavy-duty contractor bags that would work for the yucky clean-out fridge job…where did so much stuff in the fridge come from? I lugged the heavy box to the front, paid for it, and then lugged it to the car…it was heavy! I think I did my “plogging” just getting that heavy-weight box of trash bags  in my car and then back home..

It took me over an hour to clean out everything from the fridge and freeze…using  lots of remarkably heavy plastic bags  ….dragging them to the garbage can was the worst part of all….I figure this is probably the last time it will be this clean until it dies or I do!. 🙂

One young American plogger added her reasons for changing from jogging to plogging.

Across Europe, there are plogging groups in Scandinavia, Germany and beyond. In the United States, it’s just starting to catch on among exercisers who are fed up with rubbish along their route.

“I’m not going to just let litter sit there. I’m not going to just walk past that plastic bottle,” said plogger and Alexandria resident Emily Wright. “It’s not that I don’t think it’s gross to pick it up. I do. But I also think it’s gross for a person to not take responsibility for it.”

Wright, 40, has been plogging for several months along the Alexandria waterfront, but just a few weeks ago learned that what she’s been doing has a name.

She mostly picks up cigarette butts, bits of foam containers, plastic bottles and bottle caps. “There are an alarming number of full diapers,” she said. “They turn my stomach the most.”

Plogging not only helps the environment, it’s quite good for your health. Think squats while jogging.

According to the Swedish-based fitness app lifesum, the technology earlier this month made it possible for users to track plogging activity, a half-hour of jogging plus picking up trash will burn 288 calories for the average person, compared with the 235 burned by jogging alone. A brisk walk will expend about 120.


Besides bending over trying to “pick up sticks” in my front, side, and back yards… I have been jumping up and down trying to grab all the vines hanging down now from broken branches in the trees….they appear to be playing a game with me….they look enticingly close but then I just can’t quite reach them.

If I were just a little bit taller….

So until tomorrow… I will accept my stature or lack of with this “short” observation … one I like the most.

“I’m not short, I’m just more down to earth than most people.” 🙂

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Mandy took the children to Chick-Fil-A for a school fundraiser and to get their minds off John leaving yesterday afternoon for Phoenix and a week long conference. It worked…with the help of the Chick Fil-A cow…’Eat more “chikin!”


About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to Natural “Plogging” after Dorian

  1. bcparkison says:

    Oh..a clean frig sounds nice. As for the road trash .I just don’t understand why people can’t dispose of their own mess instead of pitching it out the window. And for dirty diapers…cloth ones got washed …not thrown out. Just saying.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Love this initiative- the internet does have its good points- like sharing ideas to clean up our environments!

      Sent from my iPhone


  2. Idelle Hamilton says:

    Good morning Becky. Your refrigerator picture made me smile and chuckle today! Mine looks exactly the same with my brand new jar of Duke’s Mayonnaise and some water! Keep cool in this hot weather. Take care. Idelle


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