We have celebrated Earth Day every April 22 since its inception in 1970. The holiday is a reminder that people should take care of the environment in their communities. 

Looking for ways to celebrate Earth Day? Ever considered the fitness craze of plogging? 

What You Need To Know

  • We celebrate Earth Day on April 22 

  • A trendy way to pick up litter is a fitness craze called plogging

  • Idea came from Sweden and derived from the terms "jogging" and "plocka upp,"

  • This trend is not just local, but a global initiative 

What is it?

This Swedish trend stems from the idea of exercising and picking up trash. The term combines the word “jogging” and “plocka upp,” which in Swedish means to “pick up.”

It gained popularity in 2016, but folks have been doing it for ages and continue to practice it.

Michael Bain, store manager of Big River Running Company in St. Louis, MO discussed the successful event they held for Earth Day a few years ago.

“We turned one of our weekly evening group runs into a plogging event. We ran our regular route that incorporated Francis Park and picked up trash along the way.” While they didn’t record the amount of trash they accumulated, several bags were full.  

Grab the trash bag and gloves

The good thing about plogging is that you don’t need a lot of equipment. Bain recommends just a trash bag and gloves for handling the trash. Maybe even some sanitizer.

Materials needed for plogging. Pic: Stephanie Lehr.


He also suggests choosing a course with lots of trashcans to keep items carried to a minimal. “If you go to a local park, you can pick up trash on your route, as you go.” 

Global plogging

This is not just a local initiative. It’s a global one. Need some motivation. There are plenty of websites and social media bloggers who practice plogging in their communities.

Ripu Daman Bevli from India, saw a need in his community, and he wanted to fill it. He began by picking up litter during his morning run. He then shared his activity with his Facebook group. 

From there, it attracted other runners, cyclists, walkers, and joggers across India and they formed Ploggers of India, where “cleaning up other people’s litter is the coolest thing to do.” Bevli has helped organize over 500 clean up drives across India.

One doesn’t need a group event or even a holiday to pick up trash in the area. Make it part of your routine.


Tie a plastic grocery bag or two to your dog’s leash, stash some plastic gloves in your running belt. Have the sanitizer in your running bag. The small things can make a big difference and we can celebrate Earth Day not just today, but every day.