As you know, at Näak, environmental protection is one of our biggest concerns. Nature is our playground and we want to preserve it. Naturally, Näak then supports the actions of @runecoteam who encourages "ecological jogging", called "plogging". To learn more about plogging and its origins, we had the chance to meet (virtually) @James Guilbaud, ambassador of @runecoteam in Montreal. Here's what we learned:
What is @runecoteam?
It all started 5 years ago when Nicolas Lemonnier, the Frenchman at the origin of the movement, posted on Facebook a picture of a piece of garbage he picked up while jogging. His photo had a great success. Faced with this enthusiasm, Nicolas Lemonnier decided to create a movement with the motto: "1 run = 1 waste".
"1 run = 1 waste"
The principle is simple: he invites each runner to pick up at least one piece of garbage while jogging, to immortalize his gesture with a photo and to post it on the networks in order to encourage others to follow the movement. 5 years later, Nicolas Lemonnier's little action in France has become a worldwide phenomenon. A word has even been created in Sweden to designate this ecological jogging: the "plogging". This term is a contraction of "plocka upp", which means "pick up" in Swedish, and jogging. The practice is simple and consists in picking up garbage while jogging.
James Guilbaud arrived in Montreal 2 years ago and is originally from Nantes, where the movement was created in France. He points out that this movement is basically an individual initiative and that it is not necessary to collect all the garbage you can find. The principle of the project is above all to show that if each runner collected a piece of waste at each of his trainning, our planet would be much less polluted. Of course, @runecoteam alone will not be able to clean up the planet, but James is convinced that many little actions can lead to bigger actions. Moreover, plogging is not only for joggers, each athlete can pick up waste in his own way: whether by bike, paddle or running! As James says, it's important to make everyone aware, because it's everyone's playground.
Collective waste collection for a greater impact
In order to have a greater impact, @runecoteam sometimes carries out collective initiatives. For example, in 2018, they managed to bring together 400 people in Nantes (France) for a collective waste collection. All generations have answered the call: from children to seniors and adults. As James Guilbaud points out in our live report, the goal is not just to collect waste, but also to teach people how to recycle, for example. In the end, by joining their efforts, these 400 people collected no less than 352kg of waste. More recently, this nice initiative was repeated in Montreal and brought together 115 people. Once again, all generations were present. In only 1 hour, 272 kg of garbage were collected.
The corona virus pandemic has obviously slowed the process. While the virus had just appeared in France, and its mode of transmission remained uncertain, @runecoteam preferred not to take any risks and invited its community to stop collecting waste in order to protect public health. As a result, there was a significant decrease in the number of ambassadors. Since then, the activity has slowly resumed, and runners are invited to take all necessary precautions to collect garbage: to wear gloves, to wash their hands, to not touch their faces... James Guilbaud points out that even if the coronavirus pandemic has slowed down garbage collection, it has not stopped it. As an example, @runecoteam carried out a virtual garbage collection for the first time, which appeared to be a success.
The city also has a role to play
Furthermore, James Guilbaud remains convinced that not only the citizen but also the city has a role to play in limiting waste. The city can contribute by increasing the number of dustbin in the most polluted areas, for example, or by increasing the frequency of public garbage collection to prevent garbage from flying away or being displaced by wild animals.
In the end, James will insist that we can all participate in this ecological practice. It's a simple gesture that requires very little effort but that can have such a great impact. Unfortunately, we "just" have to go out of our homes to find garbage in our neighbourhood. Everyone can help at their own level.
Don't hesitate and get involved: on your next run, pick up a piece of garbage, take a picture and post it using the following hashtags : #runecoteam and #1run=1run. The planet needs you!