Celebrating Earth Day the Global Pandemic Way

Disclaimer:  I received a pair of Knockaround Sunglasses to help promote plogging 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.


Have you heard of plogging? I’ve heard of it, but until this month, I hadn’t really done it. Sure, I’d pick up a random piece of trash here and there, but that was about it. For those of you who don’t know, plogging is the act of going on a run (or walk) and picking up litter along the way. Reported to have started in Sweden around 2016, plogging has become a worldwide phenomenon. If you’ve spent any time running or going for walks outdoors, you know what a problem this is.




My subdivision backs up to forest preserve, which for some reason translates to ‘trash receptacle’ for many people. I knew there would be plenty of trash for me to pick up along my route. The first time out I brought my son with me so he could take photos for me to post. That way, I didn’t touch my phone with my germy hands (apparently germy is not a word). For added protection, I wore gloves to protect my hands and my Knockaround sunglasses to protect my eyes. The sunglasses helped prevent any debris from getting into my eyes, and also served as a barrier from me subconsciously touching my eyes with the dirty gloves.



I was surprised (yet not surprised) to fill two bags in just over a half mile of plogging. Much of what I picked up was beer/booze cans and bottles; even a full-sized wine bottle. Seriously, it’s bad enough that people are flinging trash outside of their cars, but drinking and driving to boot. Ugh.








I continued to plog for the next couple of weeks, but with the worsening pandemic and concerns about getting sick, the focus of the campaign changed to showing love for the Earth in other ways, including posting some fun pics of us hugging trees. I was all over this, as I have a tree in my yard that has special meaning to my family and me. In case you missed it, you can check out the story on my Instagram post here.


With all the negativity going on in the world, on April 22nd, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, I decided to turn my frown upside down and get a little creative with my tree hugging. I quickly learned two things:  1) I am not as young as I used to be, and 2) my neighbors really do think I’m nuts.









If you’d like to try a pair of Knockaround sunglasses yourself, you can get 20% off of your entire order using code BibRaveKnocks4. You can even customize your own pair!

Check out my Facebook Video on how to plog while protecting yourself from germs!

How did you celebrate Earth Day this year? Have you ever plogged? Tree hugging:  Yay or Nay?

Check out more ways some of my fellow BibRave Pros celebrated Earth Day:  Preston, Lissa, Stephanie, Karen, and Vanessa!

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On (or off) my 2020 Race Calendar:

January 9 – 12, 2020:  Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge, Orlando, FL

March 1, 2020:  Tokyo Marathon DEFERRED to 2021

March 15, 2020:  Amita Health St. Paddy’s Day Half Marathon, Bolingbrook, IL POSTPONED until September

May 2, 2020:  Cinco de Miler, Chicago, IL Gone VIRTUAL

May 23, 2020:  Soldier Field 10 Miler, Chicago, IL Gone VIRTUAL

June 21, 2010:  Wonder Woman 10K, Chicago, IL Gone VIRTUAL

July 12, 2020:  Across the Bay 12K, San Francisco, CA

September 12, 2020:  Run Mag Mile, Chicago, IL

October 4, 2020:  Bucktown 5K, Chicago, IL

October 11, 2020:  Chicago Marathon


  1. Good for you for plogging!!!!! I don’t plog on every run or walk, but I do it on occasion. Even in our small town, with a very liberal student body/faculty at the college, the trash around campus (and town as well) is ridiculous. Seriously, why aren’t more people hugging the trees with us (LOL)? Thanks for doing your part, and I shall continue to do mine 😉

  2. Way to plog!! I need to get out there and do some on my road. People are so gross chucking their trash everywhere. Love the tree hugging pic!

    1. Author

      I think especially with the beer/booze cans and bottles it’s mostly kids driving around drinking and then flinging the evidence out of their car windows. It’s just sad.

  3. We also pick up garbage when we see it no matter where we are, takes a second, and everything looks better.
    Good luck with your future races too! I don’t know if there will be an ‘in Person’ race before a vaccine, but as soon as it’s safe, people will be ready.
    Stay safe, and I loved ❤️ the tree pictures, a beautiful reminder of your dad, my Uncle L.

    1. Author

      That’s nice that you pick up trash. I wish more people would do that. Several of my races have gone virtual, but at least they will still take place. I have a feeling most races will be cancelled through the rest of the year; at least the big ones. Take care.

  4. wow that’s amazing how much trash you found just in the area of your house!b Good for you for picking it up! I love my knockarounds.

    1. Author

      Being near forest preserve is a big part of it. I think people feel ‘safe’ throwing trash there since it is not someone’s private property.

  5. I love the idea of plogging but I can’t say I’ve really ever done it. When I was in DC last summer I went for an early morning run in the National Mall and saw so much trash! I was so disappointed in the tourists…does it really take that much to walk your lazy butt to a trash can and throw your crap away? Guess so sadly. Good for you for getting out there and helping the environment!

    1. Author

      I just don’t get it. I would think especially as a tourist, I would be completely respectful of the environment. Especially in the nation’s capital!

  6. It’s amazing what you do to preserve the forest.
    Here, when I run through the country, I often see trash near the route. However many persons, on sunday, make plogging.
    Nice photos.

    1. Author

      I wish more people would pick up trash, but of course what I really wish is that people didn’t litter in the first place! I hope you are staying healthy and safe!

  7. Tree hugging is awesome! I did a small plog, just because I don’t have gloves at the moment. We also went ahead and tried to b extra mindful of our waste.

    1. Author

      Pandemic or not, I think the plogging causes concern, because you never know what you are going to pick up. I definitely wouldn’t do it without gloves.

  8. Yay for plogging! I have picked up random trash before but never actually plogged. I will have to give it a try. With gloves for sure. I can’t believe how much trash you picked up in a short distance. I see so many beer/wine/liquor containers along the side of the road when I run. It’s scary! I think people must be throwing them out of car windows as they empty them while driving. Ugh!

    1. Author

      I seriously could pick that much up every day for a week. It does seem like the littering has slowed a bit with people staying home, so at least there’s that.

    1. Author

      My friend’s house is at the entrance to the forest preserve and she and her kids have been picking up trash there for years. I’m glad to finally be out there helping!

  9. That’s great that you were able to do some plogging! Our neighborhood doesn’t get too much trash left around except when people put out their trash and recycling on a windy day and everything gets blown around. Love all your pics with the tree!

    1. Author

      One of the days I plogged was the day after garbage pickup and there was trash everywhere – most looked like peoples’ recyclables that got blown around. Unfortunately, lots of those items are the things that take forever to break down or can be ingested and harmful to animals. I picked up what I could.

  10. Tree hugging: absolutely! Plogging: I’ve not done it yet. I do regularly organize clean up days for our local trail, but I haven’t “run” while doing it. I’ll have to give it a try!

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