Think of plogging as a jog with environmental benefits. Coming from the Swedish word “plocka upp” (meaning to pick up), plogging involves picking up litter while jogging. It started in Sweden in 2016 and began spreading to other countries. NC State’s Plogging Club began in 2019. Here, Plogging Club member and environmental engineering major Danny Sodano talks about plogging at NC State.
How did you first hear about plogging?
Actually, it was [former student] Riley [Reid]’s idea to start the group. Riley and her roommate, Maddie Macmillan, heard about plogging as it became more popular in Europe and decided to bring it over as a way to combine two of their interests: running and helping the environment. Riley and Maddie applied to the NC State Sustainability Fund and got funding to begin the club. After I took over, I agreed to just pay out of pocket and donate the rest of the money back.
Where are your favorite places to plog on campus?
It’s great to go on greenways because it feels like there’s a greater impact cleaning these areas as opposed to streets and parking lots. Greenways and nearby parks are closer to the environment.
About how many people plog regularly with your group?
The number varies depending on weather and time of the semester, but there can be anywhere from four to 12 or more people who [collect] two to four large bags of trash.
What’s the thing you find most often while plogging?
Fast food containers and bottles.
If I want to try to plog, what things do I need and what should I know before getting started?
Plogging is super easy. Get a pair of gloves, get a trash bag or two, and run a mile or two. You’d be surprised how much trash you see that you never noticed before.
What’s the best thing about plogging?
There’s a sense of satisfaction you get after you finish plogging because you can visually see how much trash you collected and how much cleaner the area is. People say the miles fly by because there is a clear objective that they are working toward, as opposed to just running for X number of minutes or miles.
Interested in plogging? NC State Plogging Facebook page has details on group plogs.