Eco graffiti, also known as green or moss graffiti, is an environmentally friendly alternative of graffiti making without using chemicals while bringing back nature into the concrete, urban reality. The advantages of eco graffiti are: it is cheap, easy to prepare and, of course, environmentally friendly way of making statements or decorations. The application process requires a bit of skills and patience, but nothing too hard to handle. Also, the final result is not visible immediately, since it takes a couple of weeks for the moss to grow. During this time it is advisable not to forget it and moisten it regularly with water or to apply new layers of moss mixture, if needed. According to our experience it is best to apply it on concrete (not painted), wooden or brick (preferably rough) walls that absorb moisture. Don’t forget – moss prefers to grow in shady places.
Eco graffiti seemed like the most appropriate way to symbolically present our wish/idea of Prekmurje as the first eco region in Europe. In addition we didn’t encounter this kind of guerrilla street art in Slovenia – that’s why we decided to try it out on our own. And this is how eco graffitti works:
yogurt or butter milk
blender or mixer
stencils or sketches of the motifs
water retaining granulate (ieg. plantajoy), if handy
1. Collect moss and clean soil out of the roots as much as possible.
2. Pour yogurt or butter milk in the container, add some sugar. Gradually add moss and mix it with a blender. The mixture must be dense – as a smoothie (enough not to drip during the application on the wall). The mixture can be thickened with corn starch, plantajoy etc. or water can be added, if needed. We recommend to make some tests on the wall and check whether it is sufficiently dense before starting the real thing.
3. Find an appropriate location for the application of the eco graffiti (best are wooden, concrete or brick walls). You can draw eco graffiti freehand or use stencils of the chosen motif. Apply the mixture with a brush (little by little, so it doesn’t drip too much) till you get a relief.
4. Don’t forget all about the graffiti – moss should start growing after three weeks, but in the meantime it is recommended to occasionally moisten it with water, depending on weather conditions and the climate of your area. If there were some mistakes made during the application of the mixture on the wall you can always add some more mixture or remove the excessive parts with a knife etc.
Here’s how our graffitti look like:
It is important to point out that eco graffiti seems to be socially more acceptable than the traditional methods of wall paintings. This may be stated based on our own experience from the evening intervention, when special police unit came during the “action” and wanted to know what we were doing. They were clearly surprised and interested, if not enthusiastic about our activity and at the end wished us a successful decorating of concrete walls and successful growth of moss. We believe that with the use of traditional graffitti methods our names would be kept in police records and our efforts rewarded with a bill, which would represent a counterbalance for the “destroyed” walls. We conclude that (at least for the Prekmurje special police unit), moss does not represent a great danger for the concrete walls.
Mad Science – Moss Graffitti (video)