For several weeks we have been reading islander Kai Creamer’s Facebook posts about the next ploggingday on Isla Mujeres.
“Plogging?” I asked, “What the heck is that?”
Well, according to Kai, it is a movement that started in Sweden and the name of the activity comes from the Swedish plocka up or pick up.
The activity combines picking up trash with jogging to create the fun and memorable name of plogging. Many islanders had already incorporated the idea into their daily exercise routines but now they can also join the group for a laughter-filled workout.
I’m pretty sure some of the items that are found along the streets can be pretty gross, and others quite entertaining. I have on occasion discovered discarded underwear, male and female, that I did not pick up but pondered the possible scenario that lead to the removal of their underwear among the scorpions, spiders, and ticks.
But back to plogging. Every Wednesday the next weekend’s route and meeting place are posted to the group’s Facebook page. The distances range between 1.5 and 2.5 kilometers.
The participants meet at 8:30 in the morning and are provided with gloves, re-cycled plastic grocery bags for the trash and water refills for their personal water bottles from a larger twenty-litre Garrafon.
A number of the members bring their own grabbers, those handy devices that were originally designed for people with mobility challenges to reach and pick up items.
The biggest challenge for the group is getting a supply affordable of the trash grabbers. In Mexico they are hard to find and are expensive.
If any travelers from the USA or Canada have room in their suitcase for a few of the dollar-store variety grabbers the group would really appreciate your assistance. They each cost around $1.00 to $1.25, although the better-made variety costing around $10.00 each would probably last longer.
As Kai says, the speed of the activity depends on the amount of trash to be picked up. Sometimes the group is stationary in one area picking it clean before moving on. They generally stop by 11:00 in the morning, and convene at a one of their local sponsor restaurants.
Both Mango Café and La Tarima offer a complimentary refreshing lemonade for the ploggers. Some of the group will often linger longer at the restaurant to take advantage of the group members discount and enjoying a well-earned late breakfast or early lunch.
On average the plogging events attract around fifteen people but on occasion the group has swelled to as many as forty participants. Kai and the group members are planning a second route for Wednesday afternoons for the folks who for various reasons can’t participate on the weekends or in the mornings.
Here’s your chance to have a few laughs, get some exercise, and help our island in paradise.
Here’s the link to their Facebook group page for more information.
Photos courtesy of Kai Creamer.
Lynda, Lawrie and Sparky
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