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Peterborough woman combines jogging and litter pickup

  • Lindsey Masterson of Peterborough organized a jog and litter pick up of Route 101 on Wednesday afternoon. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Lindsey Masterson of Peterborough organized a jog and litter pick up of Route 101 on Wednesday afternoon. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Lindsey Masterson of Peterborough organized a jog and litter pick up of Route 101 on Wednesday afternoon. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Lindsey Masterson of Peterborough organized a jog and litter pick up of Route 101 on Wednesday afternoon. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Lindsey Masterson of Peterborough organized a jog and litter pick up of Route 101 on Wednesday afternoon. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Staff photo by Ashley Saari



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, September 17, 2018 2:42PM

Lindsey Masterson of Peterborough stoops down, snagging a plastic bottle as she jogs against busy traffic on Route 101.

“Got the first one!” she said, holding it up to show her fellow joggers, jogging in place a moment before putting the bottle into a blue plastic bag.

It’s the first piece of trash of what will soon be 14 bags worth, as Lindsey Masterson, along with her husband Patrick Masterson and their friend Dennis Calcutt of Francestown jogged up and down a two-mile stretch of Route 101 in Peteborough, starting at Patrick’s business, Lawn Envy, at the corner of Route 101 and Elm Street, down to the town center.

Within only a few hundred feet, the three runners had picked up a plastic bin, an intact small trash can, pink packing peanuts, and plastic bottles. Lindsey, set on keeping up a good pace, went for the larger items, while her husband Patrick (who admitted running is much more his wife’s activity) took a slower and more deliberate pace to pick up the smaller bits of trash that littered the roadside.

The section of the highway has been adopted by Lawn Envy, but it was Lindsey who came up with the idea of making clean up a fun activity by combining it with jogging – a concept she borrowed from the Swedish concept of “plogging,” or picking up litter as you run.

The word comes from a combination of the word jogging and the Swedish “plocka upp,” meaning pick up. The idea is not only to clean up litter along your jogging route, but to increase calories burned by adding in different kinds of stooping and squatting movements into your routine.

Lindsey and Patrick travel down Route 101 every day, she said, and she started to notice there was a lot of trash on the roadside. An avid runner already, her interest was piqued when she saw a viral Facebook post about the phenomenon, which has spread from Europe to America.

Lindsey contacted the state, which provided her with blue clean up bags and high-visibility vests to help with safety, and provided her protocols for trash pick up if they come across things like needles.

Lindsey said she hopes to make it an annual clean-up event, and encourage more people to join in – either on Lawn Envy’s portion of the highway, or their own neighborhoods.

“This is our first shot, so we’ll see if it sticks,” Lindsey said. “Every running team needs to do it. Peterborough would be clean in no time.”

Despite the rainy weather, Calcutt responded to a call put out by Lindsey to join them for the cleanup. While he joked he was there as a “friend requirement,” Calcutt said his real motivation was he knows it’s a job that needs doing, and he’s able to do it.

“You have to do these things in your community,” Calcutt said. “We need to be more in touch with the waste we produce and what we do with it.”

Lindsey said the amount of trash the trio picked up in the mere 2-mile stretch was “scary” and said they’ll definitely be doing another “plogging” exercise.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.