Graffiti is a meaningful form of artistic protest that can reach a populous audience who might not otherwise be aware of an issue. But when your issue is the environment, using chemical spray paints as a medium can defeat the message. For many activists, sustainable street art is the answer.

Moss art

To make moss art, get a blender set up and ready to go. Pour 700ml of lukewarm water into the blender, then Crumble three handfuls of moss (can be found between the cracks in pavement, on drainpipe covers, urban backyards, anywhere it’s damp and shady) in the water.

Add 2 tablespoons of water retention gardening gel and 120ml of buttermilk to the mixture. Blend for two to five minutes, until a gel forms. Transfer it into a bucket and paint it on wood or concrete. Mist the art weekly to maintain. Just like in paint street art, activists use stencils, political messages and free hand drawings to get their point across.

Mud Stencils

Design your stencil and cut it out on sturdy paper. Make sure there aren’t any parts of the image that will fall out if you cut them (like the middle of an O). Find some mud or create it. The perfect mix of soil and water is about the consistency of peanut butter. Beat it with a fork until it reaches this point. Place the stencil and tape it in place. Paint the mud on with a roller or paintbrush. If using a sponge, don’t press too hard – muddy water can leak under the stencil. Carefully remove the stencil and admire!

Reverse graffiti

Rather than marking up a space, reverse graffiti involves working with what’s already there. Artists in South Africa popularized the technique by scrubbing art into filthy sheets of metal that run alongside the highway. Others have used power washers to clean stencils into public spaces. Another way to do reverse graffiti is by chipping paint off a building where it’s already coming off.

Flour based paint

Safe paint can be homemade! To make flour paint mix 250ml of flour and 2 tablespoons of salt in a saucepan. Whisk in 350ml of cold water until the mixture is smooth. Add in 310ml of hot water and boil until the paint is thick and smooth. For colour, experiment with amounts of pigment (Paprika gives a red, turmeric yields yellow, charcoal makes black, fruit and vegetable juices can give varying intensities and colours). Once finished, store in a fridge overnight and paint away.