Why Go Jogging When You Can Go Plogging?

Written by Maïlys Dussert, adidas Runner Paris

Plogging is a Swedish fitness trend sweeping the globe. No, it’s not a crazy workout fad or dance video challenge. ”Plogging” is literally the combination of the Swedish word “plocka upp” (to pick up) and the English word “jogging”. For runners, it’s a great way to give back to your community while taking care of your favorite trails!

Our Plogging Community In Paris

I grew up in a small village in the french countryside, and when I moved to Paris I was confronted with how truly consumerist our society is. I try to avoid using plastic in my daily life, but I still found my favorite running trails littered with cups, straws, and other plastic debris. 

So, together with a group of friends I created the Paris Plogging Crew (PPC), and we’re working on cleaning up the city one trail at a time. If you’d like to do something to give back to your community and the running routes you love, the tips below will help you create your own plogging event! 

Reduce your plastic waste

Participating in community pick up events is a great way to give back. But it’s also important to reduce your personal plastic consumption. Here are a few tips that might help you.

How To Host A Plogging Event 

Hosting a plogging run isn’t necessarily difficult, but our group has found a good rhythm for our meet-ups that might help you when you plan your own event. Here’s what to do:

Step 1: Create a Facebook event or calendar invite with all the key information including date, time, location, names of the organizers and the things people should bring with them. We usually ask people to bring some trash bags, thick gloves, water, and weather-appropriate clothing. 

When you create the event, try to be playful! Our group has named events things like “trash revolution” or “mask attack.” Try picking a theme for your event and pick up trash related to that theme.

Step 2: Communicate the event on social media. Depending on how big of a group you want to host, you can send out invites directly to friends or post the event on local social media groups.

Step 3: On the day of the event, one person should plan to address the group to explain more about plogging, things to watch out for (be careful of glass, keep an eye out for cyclists, following social distancing guidelines, etc.). They should also tell the group when to meet back up and where.

Step 4: Go plogging! We typically plan our plogging runs to be around 45-90 minutes long.

Step 5: Close the event, together. Bring everybody back with all the trash to take photos, chat, and generally catch up. Maybe you want to award a small prize for the person who picked up the most trash! Also, make sure you know where you are going to dispose of all the waste you’ve picked up!

adidas runner showing the discarded masks she collected plogging

A Few Tips For the Organizers 

Here are just a few helpful reminders. 

  • Set expectations with the group. Are you jogging and picking up trash, or do you want to split up into some joggers and some walkers? If you’re in a big city with a lot of trash, chances are you’ll be doing less running and more walking. That’s okay! Just make sure everybody is on the same page about what the day will look like.
  • Remind people to wear comfortable clothes and shoes. You’d be amazed what people show up wearing!
  • Wear thick gloves (like gardening gloves) to help prevent cuts. Bring a few extra pairs in case anybody forgets theirs.
  • Bring some antibiotic soap to share with the group.
  • At least one of the organizers should have a first aid kit with band-aids. Just in case!

Even if you’ve asked people to bring their own garbage bags, you should always have plenty of extras on hand.

discarded mask and plastic bottle

Spoiler: It Feels Good To Give Back! 

It feels so great to spend a little bit of time giving back to the planet. For the Paris Plogging Crew, Paris is our playground! It’s where we run, but it’s also where we live and work. Giving back to our city gives us a great sense of pride and purpose. Also, the Paris Plogging Crew has grown into a community. We’re a group of friends who meet up, do something we love, and enjoy each other’s company. And every event is a new adventure! 

If you’re looking forward to hosting a plogging event this year, why not organize it during Run For The Oceans, a challenge dedicated to helping fight plastic waste? Be sure to post your group photos using the hashtag #RunForTheOceans. You’ll definitely find some photos of the Paris Plogging Crew! 

two women collecting discarded masks Photo Credit: Yassine Atiqi

Maïlys Dussert Maïlys Dussert grew up in a small village in France, close to nature, and now she lives and works in Paris. A passionate athlete, she is a crew runner with adidas Runners in Paris. She is also one of the French adidas Runtastic Ambassadors. She founded “Paris Plogging Crew - PPC” to introduce people to the concept of plogging and to give back to her community. She creates content about plogging and the environment on Instagram. View all posts by Maïlys Dussert