Plogging: It’s Free, It’s Good for You, and It’s Just a Nice Thing to Do

A man picks up garbage from the sidewalks of St Petersburg, Florida.
Plogging is a new fitness trend where people jog while picking up garbage. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

From a country known for killer chocolate and saucy meatballs comes a new fitness trend that combines doing something good for yourself with something good for the environment.

The Swedes came up with the idea of plogging — jogging while picking up trash — a few years ago. Now the craze is gaining traction across Mother Earth.

As far as fitness fads are concerned, this one has a lot going for it. It doesn’t require special training, equipment or membership fees, and you can do it wherever you are.

If you want to be a rubbish wrangler, just stick your feet in some good running shoes, grab a bag to collect litter and head out the door.

If you want to take plogging to the next level, add the free app Litterati to your smartphone and help further clean up the planet through the miracle of crowdsourcing.

When you use the app to take pictures of every place you find trash, Litterati combines the data with other users to create maps that pinpoint the areas in your town with the most litter.

Litterati is available for iOS and Android devices.

The American Heart Association recommends adults squeeze in at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise. If you have a have a heart for the environment, plogging helps strengthen your body while feeding your soul.

If jogging isn’t your thing, you can always take it down a notch and pick up litter while you walk. Of course if you’re not trotting along, it’s not really plogging, so AARP suggests we call it “plalking.”

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’ll plalk, thanks.