New word: Plogging

June 2019—There’s a new, trendy sport. Even an application to make it an Olympic sport. Plogging.

“Plogging, a verb, is the mashup of jogging and the Swedish ‘plocka upp’ or pick up,” explains Nathan Dopp, CEO of the North American branch of Swedish outdoor company Fjallraven, which has started hosting plogging events in the U.S. The term seems to have been started by a Swede named Erik Ahlström in 2016, who was looking for a catchy name for his favorite pasttime. The activity combines exercising in the great outdoors–hiking, jogging, or any sort of exercise will do–with picking up trash, like discarded bottles, plastic bags, leftover chip packets, or whatever other waste humans have left in their wake. It appeals to health enthusiasts who want to add some altruism to their workout. In other words, just bring a bag when you exercise outside, and pick up trash while you do it.

It may seem a small thing, but plogging encourages people to take responsibility to address problems they see. I often see people walk right past a piece of litter, even when a trash can is near by. If plogging catches on, maybe people will start taking action on other issues as they learn the satisfaction of altruism. Not so sure it’ll be included in the Olympics, though.