News Society, 29/06/2019

Kharkivite Joins Worldwide Eco-Initiative

Kharkiv resident Serhii Preskornik joined the unusual initiative. While jogging in the morning, he carries super-strong packets and a pair of gloves to pick up litter on his way.

The 29-year-old man has been running for a long time but only a year ago he began to combine his usual jogging with environmental care which is called plogging. First, he cleaned up waste on the sports ground. Then, he decided to clear up his neighborhood. Now, he picks up trash in the forest near his house. The Kharkivite mixes sport with environmentally friendly work three times a week. He starts jogging at about 6 a.m. Picking up garbage, he usually runs for about 10 kilometers. It takes him one and a half hour. During this time, Serhii collects up to five kilos of trash including bottles, napkins and paper. He throws all waste into garbage cans.

Last month, Serhii gathered about 100 kilos of litter – only a drop in the ocean, given the scale of Kharkiv which is full of rubbish. “Every time I return back to the same place where I had picked up litter before, I find even more garbage. So, people should be more responsible,” the man insists.

The young man used to throw litter in the street but later he rethought his attitude to the environment.  “While running, you understand that you breathe all this,” says Serhii. After jogging, he goes to a barbershop where he works as a barber.

However, not all of Serhii’s friends support his initiative. Often, he is even mistaken as a homeless person. Still, the man is not going to give up plogging and is intending to join forces with like-minded all over Ukraine. Soon, he intends planning a mass plogging race.

Reference: Plogging is a combination of jogging with picking up litter (Swedish: plocka upp). It started as an organized activity in Sweden around 2016 and spread to other countries in 2018, following increased concern about plastic pollution. As a workout, it provides variation in body movements by adding bending, squatting and stretching to the main action of running, hiking, or walking.

Text: Natalia Ivanova