During my travels, I have been lucky enough to be in some amazing countries, where culture, people, and landscapes will remain in my memory forever. One of those countries is Mexico. Mexican people have this spark and passion for their culture that has always called my attention. From their spicy food, the chile con carne (vegan-option for me now haha), the friends I have made, the Aztecan ruins, the postcard beaches….Mexico should be in everyone’s list. And I couldn’t stop feeling happy when I found a plogging group there!
Elisa is one of the Co-founders of @ploggingmx, a community organisation that was born out of their Founders passion for all things environment and fitness. We asked her about their plogging story, their challenges and more!
A bit about them:
Elisa Apátiga studied a Master in Environmental Sciences. She is a specialist in waste management, in Climate Change Science, and her purpose in life is to inspire environmental awareness. She is the founder of Sí Me Importa / Actitud Verde, which is an environmental initiative that promotes environmental awareness and responsible consumption. Also, she has 17 years of experience organising corporative events, having fun with friends, loves to travel, to do exercise, eat healthy and reduce her waste is part of her lifestyle.
Héctor Gómez studied Sports Sciences. Coach at LesMills-Body Systems Programs, Certified at Functional Training and Crossfit. Hector is a thinker and reflexive changemaker. He wants to inspire people and help them change their lives in some way. He is very conscious that PloggingMx can be an excellent way to impact them. He likes to go to the movies, eat ice-cream and chocolate desserts. He is also a pet lover. He rescued a dog from the street, with the purpose of providing him with a better and happier life which made him realise that this relationship makes him very happy.
César Gómez is a Nutriologist, Senior Coach at LesMills-Body Systems Programs. Certified at Active Functional. Cesar's "my reason" to do plogging is because he used to smoke a lot as a teenager, as much as one pack per day, but he managed to quit smoking literally from one day to the next. So, the first time they decided to pick up the trash from the park, he was very shocked at the number of cigarette butts that were found, as well as the lack of consciousness from people when they throw them away on the floor just like that. Being a healthcare professional, he hopes that through plogging people will realise how much harm smoking can cause to their health and the environment.
Both, Héctor and César, are Co-founders of FZAGET, which is an initiative that promotes physical activity through functional training accompanied by nutrition for sports and exercise.
So, how long have you been plogging for?
One year, we started plogging on February 3rd, 2018.
And how did you find out about plogging?
We organised a Clean Up Day at Parque Pilares, the place where we usually planned our functional training workouts. We noticed there was a lot of garbage, so the coach proposed to pick it up as part of our work-out. When we posted the invitation in our personal social networks, someone told us “Hey guys, this activity you are doing is called plogging”.
After a video and a publication we saw on different web pages, we decided to open the account PloggingMx.
Do you plog solo or as a group? Where do you usually Plog?
We organise, at least, one plogging group each month. We post an invitation on our social networks. Because we live in the city, we choose parks, streets, monuments or forests near Mexico City.
Elisa picks-up garbage from the streets almost every day, even before she started with plogging.
What is your reason to do it?
Mexico holds the first place worldwide in obesity and diabetes, mainly in children and women. It also has high rates of work stress and sedentarism.
Besides that, throughout all the Mexican Republic, every day we generate 117 thousand tons of garbage. These are the main reasons for us, to practice plogging as a dynamic that helps to promote physical activity, healthy nutrition and to inspire environmental awareness.
We are pretty sure, we can impact people offering them an amazing activity as an alternative to take care of themselves, having wellness and a better lifestyle.
How has been the reaction from your local community?
Most of the people are enthusiasts of seeing us plogging, and they join us every time we send out an invitation, they even bring their pets, as well as their children, which is great because that is the perfect age to start with these environmental, exercise and nutritional habits.
What would you think is your biggest challenge?
To inspire people, to practice physical activity frequently and to plant in them the seed to start a change of habits by observing their consumption patterns so they can reduce their waste and continue plogging without us or they start individually.
Were you always active before starting this initiative? Which other sports do you practice, apart of running?
Yes, we practice other sports since we were children.
César and Héctor are super fitness coaches. Before plogging, they already gave us functional training workouts at the park.
Elisa loves Les Mills-Body Systems programs, and she is a Body Combat fan.
What is your number #1 recommendation to someone new to plogging?
It is never too late to make a change in our environmental, nutritional and physical activity habits, we can start modifying our consumption patterns progressively every time. You must observe the way you consume products and services, be available to reflect and change. Maybe with these tools, you can adopt a healthy lifestyle.
And finally, do you have a personal motivation behind plogging?
For Elisa, it is to reduce, as much as possible, her waste. She hates plastic bags, so she refuses them, everywhere. She had a coffee shop for eleven years; even she changed disposals of single-use from Styrofoam to other eco-friendly alternatives. She thinks plogging helps to mitigate her impact during those years.