Dig Baton Rouge

What the hell is Plogging?

Fitness and beautification hit Mid City as one

Matthew Laborde, President and CEO of Elifin Realty in Baton Rouge, is the man to answer that question. Starting in June of this year, Laborde has organized plogging events—a term originating in Sweden—around Baton Rouge. Plogging is the act of picking up litter while jogging and is a mash-up of the word jogging and the Swedish term “plocka upp,” meaning to pick up.

So, how did this trendy fitness craze get started in the capital city? Laborde says he was simply scrolling through his Facebook feed and a video shared by a neighbor caught his attention. He decided to share the video, adding “Baton Rouge, let’s plog,” and his post received a surprising amount of positive feedback.

“[The video] just made it look really cool,” Laborde said. “It’s basically just the concept of, ‘Hey, if you’re out for a jog, might as well pick up litter, too.’”

The first event went smoothly, despite the city’s lack of experience with plogging, Laborde said.

“We met at Curbside and everyone jogged in different directions. It’s different than a 5k that would have a specific route. Southern Janitorial Supplies donated gloves and trash bags, and Trublue Water donated water bottles.  We put all the trash together and we had two awards given out—one for the most litter plogged by an individual, and the second for the most unique piece of litter plogged. Items entered into the competition [ranged from] diet Robitussin to a John Wayne VHS tape to a $100 bill, which was donated to charity on the spot.”

The following plogging event scheduled in July was postponed twice due to rain, making August’s event the second official Baton Rouge plogging party.

The event happened on August 23 and aimed to break the (nonexistent) world plogging record. Around 250 people participated in the event, collecting approximately 1,000 pounds of litter. Radio Bar hosted the event and provided free beer for those 21 and over. Food was served up by Fresh Cravings.

“This event went well because of the great sponsors we had (Southeastern Janitorial, TruBlue Water, Happy’s Running Club, Varsity Sports, and Radio Bar) and because of everyone who came out to participate. This event truly shows how when a group of people come together for a collective effort, you can make a huge impact in the community,” said Mark Segalla of Elifin Realty.

There is nothing on the schedule yet, but Mark says Elifin definitely plans to continue the plogging efforts in and around Mid City.

Photos courtesy of Elifin Realty

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