How to make a glacier in 10 easy steps

We made a model glacier that we brought to the People’s Climate March in New York on September 21. It was easy. We invite others to make model glaciers too. If you discover any improvements on our system, please let us know.

1. Find some friends. It’s more fun if you work with others.

2. Get a good-sized wagon. Ours had sturdy wheels and was easily maneuverable. Those were both positive features.

(photo: Ben and  Jacob Orlove)
(photo: Ben and Jacob Orlove)

3. Fill some large plastic bags with crushed newspaper. They take up space and are much less heavy than ice. Buy some bags of ice cubes. And get a tarp too. It’s handy.

(photo: Ben and  Jacob Orlove)
(photo: Ben and Jacob Orlove)

4. Visit stores that sell fresh fish. They often have machines that make crushed ice, and can sell or even give you some. It’s good to set this up in advance.

(photo: Ben and  Jacob Orlove)
(photo: Ben and Jacob Orlove)
(photo: Ben and  Jacob Orlove)
(photo: Ben and Jacob Orlove)

5. Assemble all your materials and cover them with a tarp. Head to the demonstration.

(photo: Ben and  Jacob Orlove)
(photo: Ben and Jacob Orlove)

6. When you get near the demonstration, arrange your materials carefully. Having an extra tarp helps in case you have to unload some crushed ice, like we did. Your hands may get cold but they will warm up again.

(photo: Ben and  Jacob Orlove)
(photo: Ben and Jacob Orlove)
(photo: Ben and  Jacob Orlove)
(photo: Ben and Jacob Orlove)
(photo: Ben and  Jacob Orlove)
(photo: Ben and Jacob Orlove)

7. This part of the process is a good opportunity to talk to others.

(photo: Ben and  Jacob Orlove)
(photo: Ben and Jacob Orlove)

8. Bring the glacier to the demonstration.

(photo: Ben and  Jacob Orlove)
(photo: Ben and Jacob Orlove)

9. Have some simple materials to hand out to people who are interested.

(photo: Ben and  Jacob Orlove)
(photo: Ben and Jacob Orlove)

10. Talk to people at the demonstration. Encourage them to take selfies with the glacier. And have fun!

(photo: Ben and  Jacob Orlove)
(photo: Ben and Jacob Orlove)

Total cost: about $30 for ice. Total time: 1 hour visiting fish stores in advance. 1 hour buying ice and assembling the paper in bags. 30 minutes putting glacier all together

What we will do differently next time:

1. Try to make the glacier more mountain-like. We may try putting some cardboard or sticks to make the crushed ice mound up higher.

2. Make a sign. Most people got the idea of the glacier, but some didn’t. And we could have added something that would attract attention. “I’m marching for all the glaciers in the world.” “It’s too hot for me.” Something like that.

(photo: Ben and  Jacob Orlove)
(photo: Ben and Jacob Orlove)
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