Get fit while helping the planet!

Ban Plastic Bags Helping the Planet Operation Straw Plastic Free Plastic Pollution Plogging Strawkling

Is one of your New Year resolutions to get back in shape and do more exercise? Or do you already have a solid workout plan that you hope to maintain throughout the year? Well, here are four new trends that we hope you will incorporate into your fitness regime in 2020! Why? Because not only are they great for burning calories, but they are also good for the planet!


Are you a jogger or a walker? Or do you plan to become one in 2020? Well, why not turn from a jogger or a walker, to a dedicated full time plogger instead!

Plogging is a fitness trend that originated in Sweden in 2016, but that gained worldwide attention in 2018, seeing an even wider spread in 2019. Plogging basically consists of picking up litter while jogging. The term was coined by Erik Ahlström, an avid skier and trail runner, who combined the word ‘jogging’ with ‘plocka upp’, which is Swedish for ‘pick up’. 
Although this trend was started with joggers in mind the #plogging and #plogga (the original name for this trend which is still used in different parts of the world) hashtags are also used runners, walkers, hikers, cyclists, and even paddleboarders. 
We’re sure that many civil-minded outdoor enthusiasts have already been picking up discarded trash they happen to come across in nature for years and years, so let’s face it, the concept of picking up litter isn’t really new, but the fact that it’s gaining so much attention as a new fitness trend, is a positive thing and should only be encouraged. Why? Because everyone can do it, and it’s actually proven to be a great workout because it introduces your body to movements that wouldn’t normally be done while jogging or walking. Stooping, bending, twisting, stopping, starting all involve non-running muscle movements, and, if you carry the trash around with you in a bag instead of putting it in your pocket, as it gets heavier and heavier, you could also throw in some biceps exercises as well!

All you need to start blogging is a bag (although a lot of bloggers admit to leaving their homes empty handed knowing they will eventually come across an abandoned plastic bag which they will then pick up and start filling up with more trash). If you are not to keen on picking up litter bare handed, then add a garden glove to your list of items needed for a good blogging session!


If you spend most of your free time under water, rather than in parks or in woodlands, then how about giving Strawkling a try and snorkel for straws? If Plogging kicked off in Sweden, Strawkling first started in Australia, when a group of divers got together to tackle the prolific amount of plastic found in Sydney’s Manly Cove. In just 12 weeks, volunteers collected more than 2000 plastic straws from the area and prompted Sydney resident Harriet Spark to start ‘Operation straw’ at the end of 2017. Volunteers not only continue collecting more straws from beaches and the bottom of the ocean, but also encourage businesses to ditch the use of singles straws.


Although the name has the word ‘Straw’ in it, it doesn’t mean that straws are the only items being collected by divers worldwide. Divers are also picking up plastic bags and fishing lines they come across while exploring the ocean. 

Trash Tag

Another trend that made headlines last year was a challenge that quickly went viral with people using the hashtag #TrashTag. The challenge is thought to have been started by the outdoor gear company UCO Gear in 2015, but just like Plogging, which didn’t immediately become mainstream, was pretty soon abandoned and forgotten about. This until March of 2019, when Facebook user Byron Román, shared a picture of a before and after of a messy area being cleaned up and wrote “Take a photo of an area that needs some cleaning or maintenance, then take a photo after you have done something about it, and post it.” The image of a friend of Román who had cleaned up an area in Guatemala, initially had a Spanish caption, which he translated before reposting it and adding “Here is a new #challenge for all you bored teens.”


This challenge soon started spreading all across the world, seeing thousands and thousands of people posting before and after pictures of ares full of discarded trash, which they then bagged up and carried away. Unlike other challenges that have gone viral in the last couple of years, such as the water bottle and the mannequin challenges, this viral fad has some real tangible effects on the world, as well as getting people off the couch and get outside and help to clean up the environment.

Green gym movement

Our last option for a fitter, but at the same time cleaner 2020, is the ‘Green gym movement’. The Green Gym concept was originally developed in the late 1990s by Dr William Bird an Oxford-based general practitioner and The Conservation Volunteers (then BTCV) to encourage people who would not normally attend a conventional gym or sports centre, to get fit outdoors while improving their environment. Green gym groups do activities that include pruning trees and bushes in public parks, tree-planting or digging on an allotment, path building etc.


Volunteers warm up and cool down in preparation for the various activities of the day which are suited to every age group, nevertheless, according to the Conservation Volunteers, a third more calories can be burnt in some Green Gym sessions than in an average aerobics class. These sessions have been proven not only to benefit a persons physical health, but their mental wellbeing too.

Get moving and do your bit

Did these four trends inspire you to get moving and help the environment at the same time? Leave us a comment and let us know which of these activities you’re going to incorporate in your fitness regime or in your free time. The important thing to remember is that every bit counts, and even though these 4 activities won’t solve the world’s pollution problems, whether you set out to pick up litter, or whether you just come across a discarded piece of plastic or of trash, don’t just walk away and think that someone else will take care of it. Play your part and pick it up.

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