In May, Chuu, a Korean idol member of Loona did Plogging with Hani and Chung Ha in episode 14 of the YouTube Channel “Chuu Can Do It”. This program was produced for raising awareness for environmental destruction issues and showing how people can protect the environment. Lately, as environmental pollution increases, many people are trying to protect the environment. As this idea is in fashion, more people are considering the environment in their lives than before. Especially, “Plogging” became one of the health trends that has positive consequences for the environment.
The origin of Plogging
In 2016, Plogging started as a health trend in Sweden. Plogging is a compound word of the Swedish word for “plocka upp” which means to pick up, and “jogging” in English, and the two together have the meaning of picking up litter. Erick Ahlstrom, who lives in Sweden, made up the word Plogging. He had realized that there was too much litter on the streets when he returned to his hometown after a long while, and then he suggested “Plogging” to his friends in 2016. Now, this health trend is gradually spreading beyond Northern Europe including Sweden. Especially, as Icelandic President Gudni Thorlacius Johannesson participated in Plogging, it could be popular worldwide and become one of the trends among young people.
Positive Effects of Plogging
When people participate in a Plogging campaign, people can know Plogging’s two attractions.
First, people can protect the environment and they will know how rewarding it is to see our spaces that locals use together become clean. Second, people can take care of their health because people can exercise naturally by picking up litter. According to the MBC YouTube channel “14F”, people can get the effects of squats and lunges by the action of picking up litter and running, which consumes 100kcal more than just jogging for an hour because of holding heavy bags that are filled with lots of litter. The last point of Plogging is simplicity. It means everyone could participate in Plogging, as there are few constraints to be a Plogger.
A Campaign for Plogging in Korea
As Plogging spreads worldwide through SNS, Koreans also are joining in this environmental campaign. Announcer, Park Ji-hae, who is famous for taking exercising, held a campaign called “Sseujupdal(쓰줍달)”, meaning running to pick up the litter, last December. It became a hot topic on SNS with the medal, a recycling medal made by melting the lid of a pet bottle. In 2019, Korean Federation for Environmental Movement hosted “ Run for Zero waste” that 100 college students participated at Han river park. Participants commented that the festival was rewarding to experience, picking up the litter for the environment with jogging.
Activation of Plogging through SNS in Korea
Celebrities in Korea posted their pictures where they were participating in Plogging on their Instagram and Facebook accounts. The participation of a former deputy prime minister for economic Kim Dong-yeon, Professor Choi jae-chen, and singer Sean have influenced the public. As these influential people are participating, the Korean public is also trying to participant in more environmental campaigns. With 25,000 postings related to Plogging, it is easy to see many people joining in Plogging, posting their pictures as proof of their participation for their health and environment on SNS.
Spread to Korean companies
As Plogging has become more popular among the public, many companies have used Plogging as a way of ESG, Environmental, Social, and Governance as social contribution activities. Shinsegae Vice-president, Chung yong-jin became the talk of town by certifying his participation in Plogging on his SNS, and Industrial Bank of Korea and SK Global Chemicals Korea also conducted Plogging campaigns and challenges. Many companies including Hyundai Department Store that held an eco-friendly Marathon called “The Hyundai Seoul Plogging”, and Volvo Korea planned Plogging challenges. By holding Plogging festivals for the public, they are spreading an eco-friendly trend and making many opportunities to participate in Plogging in Korea.
How to participate
People can simply participate in Plogging. People have to pack reusable bags, gloves, or tongs and just pick up trash while walking. The most important thing is to thoroughly separate and dispose of litter that people pick up diligently. As the way that people participate in Plogging is very simple, people can also become a Plogger as many people from various countries and regions participated recently, and everyone can be an eco-activist. In the case of “the Earth and Run Plogging” event that Greenpeace Korea hosted, participants have to download a “Run-Day” application, select one among five challenges, pick up the litter while jogging alone or with neighbors, and separate litter after taking pictures.
When people act for the environment in our daily lives, such as participating in Plogging campaigns as well as reducing the use of disposables as much as possible and separating litter, people can know the importance of the environment and the Earth where people live together become cleaner. Moreover, Plogging helps not only the environment but also people’s mental and physical health. Mostly, people easily feel frustration these days because they are under many restrictions in their daily lives due to COVID-19. Breathing cool air outdoors and picking up the litter will be good for them to overcome Corona Blue. If people feel awkward participating in the campaign alone, finding an environmental campaign and joining with friends and neighbors will help to protect both their health and nature while increasing their energy in everyday life.