How running connects me with Project Aware

How running connects me with Project Aware and my daily clean up

How running connects me with Project Aware and my daily clean up is an interesting question. First of all, I already told you how diving got me into running. No, doesn’t ring a bell. Certainly this link will help. Secondly, as an avid runner, I’m familiar with ‘plogging’. Nope? No idea what I’m talking about?

Check this out;


Plogging is a combination of jogging with picking up litter (in Swedish: plocka upp). It started as an organised activity in Sweden around 2016. This slowly spread to other countries in 2018. It follows increased concern about plastic pollution.

But no, I don’t do a lot of plogging. That is to say, pretty much none at all. When I train I’m focused on running. My training is varied, with a couple of easy runs through the week. On the other hand, there is also speed work, interval training and pace runs. Let alone the long slow distance runs in the weekend. Mostly on Sundays. I really don’t have time to stop and pick up all or some of the garbage next to the road.

In addition, there’s a lot of rubbish on Koh Samui’s roads. Way too much to pick it all up during a run.

How running connects me with Project Aware and my daily clean up
How running connects me with Project Aware and my daily clean up

Instead, this is what I tend to do. After my runs I do a cool down walk. This walk is around around 400 meter on the roads in front of my house. During this walk I pick up most of the trash I encounter. In this picture I’m loaded with a plastic bag that’s filled with thrash. Various plastic bottles. Together with some pieces of iron that were part of my collection that day.

First of all, the amount of cigarette butts is insane each day. Hundreds of them, each day. Secondly, closely followed by straws. Some straws are still in the wrapper! Thanks 7-11! Most importantly, six times a week I collect rubbish and garbage on that little stretch of road. Out and back on opposite sides of the road. Certainly that’s a few kilo’s each week!

The reactions I get are varied. Some people give words of encouragement. That includes a few Thai people. Many people look at me and I can see them thinking ‘what a lunie’. I don’t mind. My message is, you have to start somewhere. Every little bit helps and it’s best to start at home. On a small scale. That’s exactly what I do.

Is it Project Aware?

As such it’s maybe not exactly a Project Aware action. It certainly is not ocean related. Again, indirectly it’s ocean related, since diving got me into running. Running got me into cleaning up the street in front of our house. Good enough for me!

When do you start to do your bit?

Want to know and learn more about clean ups? Come and join my PADI IDC programs. Three more programs remain for this year. First of all, 29th September and 23rd November I will be on Malapascua in the Philippines. This is in conjunction with PADI 5* IDDR Resort ‘Thresher Cove Resort’. Secondly, on 22nd October I will be in Khao Lak in Thailand. This will be in conjunction with PADI 5* IDC Center ‘Sea Dragon’.

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