The Sweden Alumni Network Vietnam (SANV) on August 5, 2018 proceeded with the first plogging event in Hanoi despite heavy rain, helping raise awareness of locals in environmental protection.
Participants in the first plogging activity in Hanoi. Photo: Swedish Embassy in Hanoi
The ploggers passed by a number of streets such as Thanh Nien, Hoang Dieu and Quan Thanh. After that they joined a fika – the Swedish traditional tea-break - at The Bluebird’s Nest café in Dang Dung street, which is one of the first plastic straw free coffee shops in Hanoi, to share their first time plogging experience, talk about plastics and hear some tips to live with zero waste as well as figure out the best way for plastics use.
In his message to the participants of the event, Swedish Ambassador Pereric Högberg stressed that it is a brilliant idea to organize the first plogging in Hanoi. “As a committed runner, I have always picked up trash along my running path for about 30 years. What a nice action to keep the sidewalks and public areas clean and tidy for your children, your neighbors or the ones who jog or walk after you and to make Hanoi a better living place for all".
Plogging is a combination of “jogging” and “picking” popularly practiced by Swedish exercisers who feel not right seeing trash on their route but not picking up while jogging. Unlike previous garbage picking events, this “rubbish way to get fit” has spread out to other countries in Europe and making its way to U.S and Thailand thanks to social media.
Besides the encouragement for fitness activities, this event is to raise awareness of citizens about plastics usage.
“We aim to convince people that we must reduce the consumption of plastic bags, single use plastic containers which are excessively disposed into our environment. We can also clean our street, campus by exercising,” said Hao Le, a Sweden alumnus.
In April 2018, the first fika discussing organic food was held along with the campaign “7 Day Challenge” launched by the Embassy of Sweden in Hanoi with the United Nations and Live&Learn as partners. SANV wanted to deliver a message to its members to promote organic habit, acknowledge the massiveness of classification around us, in the lake, the river, in the ocean effecting marine life underneath.