New Plogging Club encourages sustainability, fitness



Amy McNeel, Associate Editor

With sustainability being one of the key values at Grand Valley State University, Lakers are always finding innovative ways to minimize the campus footprint. One of these Lakers is MacKenzie Bronkema, president of the GVSU Plogging Club. 

Plogging is an activity that originated in Sweden, and involves running, jogging or hiking while picking up trash along the way. This activity helps clean up the environment and also encourages a healthy lifestyle. Though originating in Sweden, plogging has slowly become an international craze. 

“I was actually on a road trip with my father this past summer and we were talking about how important it is to take care of our environment, and I thought of this article I read about plogging years ago,” Bronkema said. “I jokingly said that I should start a club about plogging, and my dad told me not so jokingly that I should do it. So I decided to get some of my friends together and luckily they liked the idea, too.” 

The club was just approved for membership in late September, thus becoming one of the newest sustainability efforts on campus. While the main focus of the organization is plogging, Bronkema said they do a lot more than that. 

“We do more with the club and the Office of Sustainability, and our adviser hosts private fitness classes such as body sculpting, core sculpting, spin and things along those lines,” Bronkema said. “Our mission is to promote being active as college students, as well as helping the environment and our local communities.”

While the club is brand new, they are already making strides around GVSU. As part of sustainability week, they hosted a plogging excursion around the Calder Art Center Monday, Sept. 30. The group collected two full bags of trash. 

The club is planning to hold excursions every other Saturday morning. Although plogging is a physical activity, Bronkema said the club is great for beginners. 

“Our club is very laid back,” Bronkema said. “On the majority of our plogging excursions, we actually walk them. It’s more of a choice if you actually want to jog, but we usually walk. And a lot of the fitness classes are made for beginners. So it’s really just trying to get people to be active, especially if they don’t have any experience.”

In the future, Bronkema hopes not only to expand the club and its outreach activities, but she also hopes to connect with other clubs at GVSU.

“I would love to work with the other clubs that are already established at Grand Valley – I know that there is the Office of Sustainability, and then there’s also the Student Environmental Coalition – and I would love to, in the beginning at least, be a supporter of the events they have,” Bronkema said. “I would love to just start with cleaning up the campus because I know that there’s quite a bit of discarded items around.”