16 Jul, 2021
Plogging: the locals turning a workout into a treasure hunt
Committed sunny coast locals are turning their daily exercise into a treasure hunt by picking up litter along the way.
It’s called “plogging” and it’s a great way to get fit, keep our environment clean and take action this Plastic Free July.
Plogging combines two words – jogging and the Swedish phrase for pick up, “plocka upp”. The phenomenon started in Sweden in 2016 and involves going for a run or walk, picking up rubbish found along the way and sharing a photo of your treasure on social media.
The global craze adds purpose to exercise and keeps plastic pollution and other rubbish out of our waterways.
Sunshine Coast Ploggers
Nadia Guterres, along with her partner and 12-year-old kelpie Gracie (aka “plog-a-dog”), can be regularly seen plogging around the region, soaking in the scenery and picking up litter.
Together, they usually fill a 27-litre bag with rubbish during an hour walk. That’s a lot of garbage in one hour! You can follow their adventures on the Sunshine Coast Ploggers Facebook group and Instagram page.
Nadia says plogging is a practical way to help our local environment over a wide area and that is easy to fit in with her schedule.
“Plogging is about making picking up litter part of your regular exercise and encouraging others to participate by sharing photos of what you collect on social media,” Nadia said.
“You can keep fit and help to protect Sunshine Coast’s precious waterways and beaches at the same time!”
Keeping our waterways healthy
As a senior engineer at Sunshine Coast Council, Nadia’s job involves undertaking flood and stormwater modelling plus water sensitive urban design, so she’s acutely aware of the impact of rubbish on our local waterways.
“Ensuring that the region’s waterways are healthy is one of my main motivations, both professionally and personally,” she says. “Healthy waterways are plastic-free and litter-free. We can all play a part in keeping them clean.”
Nadia and her family are committed to going plastic-free whenever they can. They buy food in bulk and use shampoo, conditioner and face wash bars. Instead of using plastic wrap, Nadia makes her own beeswax wraps (find out how).
“We also contribute to the Banish Recycling Program, which recycles a range of items not recyclable in kerbside bins, including toothpaste and lip gloss tubes, medical blister packs, makeup packaging and more. Where possible, we close the loop by purchasing second hand or recycled materials,” Nadia said.
How to get involved
Plogging is easy! Whether you are on a run or a walk, don’t go past that piece of litter. Help make the Sunshine Coast Australia’s most sustainable region by picking it up (if it is safe to do so). Carry a bag for collecting litter and a pair of gloves to keep yourself safe.
A useful guide for plogging, and tips of how to do it safely can be found on Clean Up Australia’s website.
Post a picture of what you collect to encourage others to get involved. Every little bit helps! Post pictures to Sunshine Coast Ploggers Facebook group or tag @sunshinecoastploggers and #plogathon21 on Instagram.
Or join the Clean Up Australia Day Sunshine Coast Plog-a-thon team. Find out how on their Facebook page.
Do you know of an individual or organisation who is making a difference in our community? We would love to share their story. Get in touch below or email us.