Volunteers are pledging to collect a bag of rubbish in their local community during the “Walk and Collect Weekend”, a Facebook event which is quickly gaining momentum and expected to exceed 1,000 participants.
The event has been organised by Auckland couple Caroline and Haydn Gray, who consider themselves ‘ploggers’. The term ‘plogging’ is used worldwide to refer to the activity of walking or jogging and collecting litter at the same time. The word itself is a combination of the Swedish word plocka (picking up) and jogging. As well as plogging individually, they have also introduced their children to the concept and go out collecting as a family. “Our two boys seem to have a keen eye for spotting rubbish as well as other treasures. My elder son once found a $20 note, which has boosted his enthusiasm for collecting!”
Caroline started ‘plogging’ earlier in the year following a conscious decision to clean up her neighbourhood. “The first time I went plogging I walked six kilometres and collected five bags of rubbish. In some ways it was disheartening discovering so much litter, but on the other hand I also felt like I’d done something rewarding. When you start actively looking for rubbish, it’s amazing how much you will find in your local streets.”
Not only are there great environmental benefits to collecting rubbish, it’s also a great form of exercise. “It moves your body in more ways than traditional jogging. Your legs get a great workout from all the lunging and squatting and your arms also get worked when the bag gets heavy!” Beyond that, collecting litter is an activity that can make you feel like you’ve done a really positive and worthwhile thing.
The event hopes that getting people out ‘plogging’ will help the idea catch on in New Zealand. “Too often we think that picking up litter is someone else’s job. Collecting rubbish is such a simple way we can help our community, the environment and our own health and wellbeing.” It also hopes to change the perception that you have to head to a public space like a park or beach to collect litter. The unfortunate truth is that there is a lot of litter lying around and you only need to walk your neighbourhood streets to find it.
Further information or to participate in the “Walk and Collect Weekend”, search “Walk and Collect Weekend” on Facebook to find the event page.
Walk and Collect Event Page - www.facebook.com/events/521941935297547/
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