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My Bristol: Vivek Gurav

Meet Vivek Gurav: founder of the environmental group, Bristol Ploggers.

What’s your connection to Bristol?
I am in love with this city! I come from Pune in India and Bristol gives me those Pune vibes – I have been feeling very homely in the city since day one. Bristol is the first city I have ever visited abroad. While I am pursuing my MSc in Environmental Policy and Management from University of Bristol, I believe I am also growing as a person – Bristol which is rich in terms of its diversity and things it has to offer.

What is so special about the city in your opinion?
Bristol is UK’s first ever European Green Capital! Isn’t it amazing how the people in this city have made it a better place for living. I’m glad to be pioneering my global plogging community in Bristol!

For anyone that doesn’t know, can you briefly explain what plogging is?
Plogging is a simple act where you pick up litter while jogging. It aims to make an individual multitask while out for a run.

Can you tell us about the Pune Ploggers and how you first got into plogging in India?
I first started plogging in Pune. Rivers in Pune are very polluted. After speaking to my friends and youth in the city, I personally felt that government action wasn’t going to solve the problem. After a successful 30-day plogging challenge, I found a lot of friends liked the idea and later joined me in the daily activity. Now, it has transformed into a nationwide community-led initiative for sustainability. Pune Ploggers is the world’s largest community plogging campaign and has attracted more than 10,000 members.

How many plogging missions have you been on in Bristol and how much rubbish have you picked up in the city so far?
Since February 2022, I have completed 45 plogging runs in Bristol. A team of 15 of us have picked up more than 500kgs of rubbish.

Tell us about your new group, Bristol Ploggers..
Bristol Ploggers will be open to collaborations from all kinds of communities aiming at exploring the city, promoting the idea of individual activism to fight climate change. Through plogging, we will talk about the real facts influencing and driving climate change. Readers can find all relevant details of Bristol Ploggers on my Instagram.

What are you reading/watching/listening to at the moment?
At the moment, I am currently reading Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear. It has been a life-changing book for me. Plogging in Bristol was one of the things that I started doing after reading this book.

If you could have dinner with anyone from any era, who would it be and why?
Send me to a dinner with heads of all the governments across all countries – I want to know who is at the decision making end and what is it that’s preventing them from switching to greener ways of living.

What is your philosophy in life?
My philosophy in life is: be in the moment. Let’s be aware of how much of an importance we all carry in someone’s life.

Follow Vivek on instagram: @theplogman

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