I’ve been jogging — occasionally I flatter myself and call it running — more than forty years. And, as the loyal son of a compulsively clean mom, I’ve been keeping the space I live in neat and tidy even longer.

I never thought of combining the two, but the Swedes have. They call it plogging, for jogging plus “plocka upp,” which means picking up.

Basically, you run with a big plastic bag — and I would think a pair of thick, elbow-length gloves — and pick up trash as you go.

From a health perspective, it’s said to burn more calories than straight jogging, as you’re also doing multiple squats on your route. From an ecological perspective, you’re doing something — not much, but more than nothing — to clean up your local environment. Win-win!

This is the second great concept from Scandinavia I’ve learned about since visiting Denmark, Norway, and Sweden last spring. The other is Slow TV, invented by the Norwegians. Back in 2009, NRK, the national television station, wanted to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the railroad linking the country’s two largest cities, Oslo and Bergen. But how? As a joke, someone suggested they broadcast the entire seven-hour trip in real time, no cuts. Management was surprisingly open to the idea, so they did it. They expected a minuscule audience. Instead, nearly a quarter of the country tuned in for at least part of the broadcast.

So NRK made more such shows, including ferry trips, knitting nights, and firewood cutting. If you have Netflix, you can watch several episodes.

Last May, we boarded the Bergen-Oslo line in Myrdal, about two hours east of Bergen, and rode it into Oslo. What a joy it was to relive that trip from the comfort of our living room! We loved seeing that magnificent countryside again, especially the panoramic vista from the front of the train instead of just everything to the left (since we were sitting on that side). There’s considerable down time, though. The rail line includes hundreds of tunnels, a few more than a mile long, so the screen goes black, interrupted only by the occasional signal light, for multiple stretches.

I’m not sure how committed I am to the idea of plogging. I’ll let you know if it catches on with me. But after watching the Bergen to Oslo ride (it took four or five sittings), The Fabulous Wife and I may watch one of the ferry rides soon.

And if I’m feeling particularly ambitious, perhaps I’ll buy a GoPro, video myself plogging, and upload that. Slow Andy TV!

Former Risk Manager at UC Berkeley, author of four books, ectomorphic introvert.

Former Risk Manager at UC Berkeley, author of four books, ectomorphic introvert.