Disclaimer: I received a pair of Knockaround Sunglasses as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
Plastic vampire teeth. A Beanie Baby tag. Bottles, cans and cups.
I’ve gone out to pick up trash in my community four times in April so far as part of an Earth Day campaign with Knockaround Sunglasses, and those are just some of the things I’ve found.
When I first heard about the campaign for BibRave Pros to opt-in to — originally a plogging campaign — I was intrigued and excited. The campaign shifted to an Earth Day campaign, but plogging — picking up trash while running — fits right in with the Earth Day theme, too.
I thought plogging would be a fun topic to blog about. But I ended up finding a new hobby.
I’ve been at home for the past month here in Salisbury, Maryland, only going out for essentials, running, walking — and now, picking up trash, which is a form of exercise.
I was excited to get started the day I received my sunglasses — a Special Edition called No Signal Fort Knocks. They are fun, colorful and designed based on the colored bars that used to occasionally show up on the TV.
I did all of my plogging and trash pickups by walking from my home. For my first plog, I headed to the Salisbury City Park, and I brought a grocery bag with me. I ran 1.7 miles as I picked up trash, and it took me just less than half an hour to fill the bag.
Three days later, I went out for another plog. Race Director Trent Swanson had challenged people in the Algonquin 50K Facebook group to fill a bag of trash and post a photo to get an Algonquin 50K sticker with the new artwork. This time, I took a kitchen trash bag out. I tried to plog at first, but because the bag got too heavy, this turned into a walk. Even though I’d taken a much larger bag, it still only took 39 minutes to fill.
After that, I decided to walk as I picked up trash. On April 12, I stayed even closer to home and was able to fill one kitchen-size trash bag and two grocery bags. I found an alley near my house that was filled with trash.
On Saturday, April 18, I participated in a Virtual Clean-Up that was hosted by Joceanic. The founder of Joceanic is my colleague Josephine, and I was excited to take part. For that, I picked up another kitchen trash bag worth of trash — all found not far from my house.
For Earth Day — Wednesday, April 22 — Wicomico County Recreation & Parks (where I work) is partnering with Joceanic for the Independent Earth Day Clean-Up. Anyone can participate and share their trash hauls with the hashtag #WicomicoEarthDay. I’ll be grabbing my Knockarounds, a trash bag and my gloves for another cleanup event.
I’m used to busy spring seasons, with plenty of races and other plans. I basically have no plans now — aside from a few virtual ones — and I’ve found myself with extra time. Picking up trash is a great way to fill that time. I can be outside, get exercise and help my community at the same time — all while listening to audiobooks or podcasts on my AfterShokz.
It is disappointing to see that there’s always more trash. But we can all do our part to help. Think about the difference it would make if everyone helped clean up their own neighborhoods once a week!
It’s important to be safe when you’re picking up trash. Because of the current concerns with COVID-19, I’ve been taking extra precautions. Of course, I’ve worn gloves for each of my plogs or walks to pick up trash.
I’ve also washed my sunglasses, AfterShokz and watch with soap and water (the electronics I have are waterproof) and sanitized my phone. I’ve also taken the clothes I wore off after each plog or walk, taken a shower and washed the clothes and gloves before wearing them again. Be careful about taking off your gloves — you don’t want to touch the dirty parts of the gloves with ungloved hands, for example.
The Great Outdoors
The abrupt slowing down of my busy schedule has also made it easy to appreciate the outdoors.
On March 23, I started participating in the #19For19Challenge, which was 19 minutes of physical activity for 19 days. It’s now been 30 days, and I’m still going. I’ve decided to walk at least a mile each day on the days I don’t run, to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors.
I tend to notice new things when I slow the pace down for a walk, and I’ve seen some beautiful views and fun new details. Just today, I noticed a zebra-stripe mailbox that I hadn’t picked out before.
Hug a Tree
Hugging a tree is a fun and easy way to celebrate Earth Day. I took note of an article a friend of mine shared on Facebook a little while ago, too — which states that hugging a tree can be good for you.
You also have a chance to win some Knockarounds if you post a photo of yourself hugging a tree on social media by the end of the day on Earth Day, April 22.
Here’s what you have to do:
- Tag Knockaround and BibRave, and use the hashtag #EarthDayKnocks
- Two people will win a pair of Knockarounds. They’ll be looking for the most creative photos!
If you’re interested in purchasing a pair of Knockarounds, you can use code BibRaveKnocks4 to get 20 percent off your order at Knockaround.com.
I hope you’ll join me (separately — from your own home) for the Independent Earth Day Clean-Up tomorrow. However, I also understand if you might not be rushing to pick up trash in our current situation. If that’s the case for you, I hope you’ll keep plogging in mind as a potential future activity. It’s fun!
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