Plogging: Microwave on a park bench
Outdoor

Plogging – our first time

New Year’s resolutions again? Well, to work less, of course. To go outside more often – sure. To do more sports – a classic. And finally: to do more things that make you happy.

On New Year’s Day, we tried out something that unites all these plans: plogging. A new sexual practice? No, unfortunately not. The word is a combination of “plocka” (Swedish for “picking up”) and “jogging”, and that’s what it’s all about: you are jogging through nature (or the city, or wherever), pay attention to lying trash and – well – collect it. Sounds completely disgusting? Here is our review:

Running clothes, gloves, paper bag – let’s go!

Plogging - interim results

Kiel, northern Germany, it’s New Year’s Day 2019, early afternoon, the sun is shining. We slip into our running clothes, put on gloves and grab a large paper bag each. Let’s go! First, we head to the park in the neighborhood. We fear bad things: Fireworks scraps all over the place, the bags will be filled in a rush. But surprisingly, we find that most New Year’s leftovers had been put into the public waste bins. We actually get the chance to a jog a bit and keep our eyes open – while we get into a short rain shower with strong gusts of wind. Phew, it’s over, let’s continue.

Plogging is almost like hunting for Easter eggs: Something red flashes in the grass – so hurry up and put the plastic cup in the Easter bask… – uh, garbage bag. Over there, an empty firecracker battery – got it. The constant change between jogging and kneeling is amazingly exhausting. Furthermore, while the bag gets heavier all the time, it feels like a workout: Here lies a bottle of wine along the way. There is some indefinable object, soaked with water, remotely reminiscent of a saddle cushion (which it is, hopefully).
Some walkers watch us with interest, others say thank you. One even starts picking up garbage himself.

Plogging - electrical waste at Kiel fjord

On the shore of the Kiel Fjord, we find a rectangular metal plate between the stones. Luckily, there is a ladder nearby, which leads down from the quay wall. As it turns out, the object is an old computer, including motherboard and power supply – covered with shells. A little later we find a junky microwave on a park bench (!) – incredible, who does something like that?

Our Conclusion: Not too bad at all!

Having plogged for about one hour and 3 miles, we arrive back home. We deposit the electronic waste in the cellar room – on occasion, we will take it to the recycling center. Everything else ends up in the residual waste bin or the bottle bank. We really enjoyed the physical activity. And although it was a short distance run only, we feel pretty exhausted. It feels good, and the plogging turned out to be not as disgusting as expected. But nevertheless, the gloves need washing anyway.

Plogging - our final yield

Okay, you know how New Year’s resolutions end up for the most part. But: Plogging is really fun! Therefore, we are sure that it will not remain a one-time action. We won’t do it daily, but once a month or so it will be fine. After all, there is enough trash all over the place, throughout the whole year.

Have you ever plogged? What about the oddest artifacts you found? How did the people react that you met? We look forward to your comments and wish you all a #tidynewyear!


For German readers: The German version of this post.

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