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Heroes

Parisians hug, touch, and cuddle with these giant blocks of ice — just like the artist wanted.

"Art has the ability to change our perceptions and perspectives on the world."

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Natural Resources Defense Council

Global leaders are now meeting in France for the COP21 climate change conference. The meeting is being held in Le Bourget, a suburb of Paris. Although, really, maybe it would be more appropriate to hold it on a melting iceberg, considering what they're discussing.

One artist, however, figured that if the leaders weren't going to go to Greenland, he'd just have to bring Greenland to them.

Olafur Eliasson, a Danish-Icelandic artist, teamed up with Minik Rosing, a Danish geology professor and arctic researcher, to wrangle 12 mini-icebergs all the way from Nuuk, Greenland, to Paris' Latin Quarter, placing them on the world leaders' proverbial doorstep.


"Ice Watch: Paris" is what he's calling it.

The blocks were placed in a circle in the Place du Panthéon, a famous square outside of a mausoleum for French heroes and icons.



Not everyone gets to live in places with glaciers. Many people may have only ever seen glaciers on television. By giving people the chance to actually go see, taste, and touch a part of one, Eliasson hopes he can make their disappearance feel more visceral and real.

“As an artist I hope my works touch people, which in turn can make something that may have previously seemed quite abstract into reality. Art has the ability to change our perceptions and perspectives on the world and Ice Watch makes the climate challenges we are facing tangible. I hope it will inspire shared commitment to taking climate action." — Olafur Eliasson, IceWatchParis.com

The 12 mini-bergs were originally pieces of glacier that had fallen into the sea, where Eliasson and Rosing lassoed them up. A cargo ship then took them to Denmark in refrigerated containers, where they were loaded onto trucks for Paris.

At the time of capture, their combined weight was 100 metric tons (80 now that they've slimmed down during their trip). If that sounds like a lot, you should know it's minuscule compared to the 200 billion metric tons of glacial ice Greenland loses each year.

Greenland loses 1,000 blocks just like these per second.

And it's these glacial bergs that a lot of people are watching out for. Glaciers trap water up on land, away from the ocean. This keeps sea levels down. But when the glaciers break apart and do fall into the sea, well, it's like dumping ice cubes into a full glass of water. Things are going to overflow.

If this seems vaguely familiar, it's because this isn't the first time Eliasson has used ice to make a statement. He set up another Ice Watch installation in Copenhagen a few months ago.

Watch this video to see Eliasson and Rosing's team wrangling wild icebergs off the coast of Greenland.

Video from Bloomberg Philanthropies/YouTube.

Not everyone will get a chance to see "Ice Watch: Paris" before the blocks melt, but if you're serious about saving our glaciers, sign this petition from the NRDC to demand climate action from our world leaders. They'll present it at the Paris climate talks!

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

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We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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