At Maker Faire Bay Area, teacher Katy Arillaga built an igloo out of old milk jugs. It's a re-creation of an igloo that she built for the kids in her class to use as a reading space. If you want to build your own, here are a few tips to make sure this is a green project:
- Don't use new jugs. You may need to collect for a while, but you can get friends and family to save gallon jugs for you.
- Reuse the water. Some of the jugs are full of water, to make the structure stable. Save the water for washing dishes, watering plants, or even flushing the toilet. Anywhere you'd use greywater is fine.
- Recycle or reuse the jugs. A project like this has a limited lifespan, so make sure you dispose of all of that plastic responsibly when you're done!
Arillaga doesn't get into the specifics of how she built her igloo, but I was able to find some milk jug igloo instructions from another schoolteacher who did the same thing! Her igloo didn't use as many jugs as the one at Maker Faire: only 155 of them.
Basically, this is all you need to do:
- Build your base like she mentioned with the 1/4 full jugs, using hot glue to hold them together.
- After you build a few rows, you'll want to start using fewer jugs on each level, so the igloo will taper in nicely. From the tutorial I found, it sounds like hot glue is the key to getting these milk jugs to stay together.
Of course, the best way to reduce our plastic consumption is to not buy milk or water in these plastic jugs in the first place. I think that not only is this a great reuse project, it's a wonderful way to show the extent of plastic waste that we can generate and get kids talking about it.
Have any of you guys built a milk just igloo? I'd love to hear your experiences!
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Jinx!