Living a sustainable lifestyle is all about getting creative and doing things yourself. On Tuesday the Taino Organic Farm crew combined the two and learned how to make a recycled mosaic sign!

Taino Organic Farm's new DIY mosaic sign! Made from colorful  recycled pieces of sea glass and ceramics.

Taino Organic Farm’s new DIY mosaic sign! Made from recycled materials.

How to Make a Recycled Mosaic Sign Step 1: Collect materials.

You will need:

-Colorful tiles. This is a great opportunity to recycle! You can collect pieces of broken glass from the street, sea glass from the beach, pieces of a broken mirror or that favorite broken mug you just can’t seem to let go of.

-Cement or grout.

-Hand shovel.

-Wood or picture frames to use as a mold.

-Plastic bags.

-Water.

-Sandpaper.

Colorful pieces of sea glass from a beach in Puerto Plata.

Pieces of sea glass from a beach in Puerto Plata.

How to Make a Recycled Mosaic Sign Step 2: Lay out the design you want for your sign. The Taino Organic Farm volunteers each made a letter for the “Taino” sign. Keep in mind the cement in between the pieces may alter the shape/size of your design a bit.

Karin designing the letter "O" in a recycled picture frame.

Karin designing the letter “O” in a recycled picture frame.

How to Make a Recycled Mosaic Sign Step 3: Mix together the water and cement/grout. The texture should be thick but spreadable (for minimal effort sanding you want to make the top as smooth as possible whilst still thick enough that it won’t take forever to dry).

Selin and Peyton getting ready to combine the water and cement to pour into the frames.

Selin and Peyton getting ready to combine the water and cement to pour into the frames.

How to Make a Recycled Mosaic Sign Step 4: Pour the cement into individual frames and let sit for 1.5-2 hours.

Selin and Peyton pouring a cement mixture into the frames to set.

Selin and Peyton pouring a cement mixture into the frames to set.

How to Make a Recycled Mosaic Sign Step 5: Gently push tiles into the cement, embedding fully. Use a damp sponge to remove any residue on the tops and smooth out any cracking in the cement.

How to Make a Recycled Mosaic Sign Step 6: Let dry overnight and then admire your new Recycled Mosaic Sign!

Peyton and Karin designing letters for the sign together.

Peyton and Karin designing letters for the sign together.

Have any project ideas for the farm? Leave us a comment here or on our Facebook page!

There’s nothing to it but to do it! Opportunities to apply the three R’ s are everywhere around us. Once we start making a conscious decision to notice them and apply them, it becomes really easy and fun to come up with creative ways to Recycle Reduce Reuse. Working at Taino Farm has given me an opportunity to see recycling action and experience it first hand. I had always recycled bottles, brought my own bags to the store, and reused food containers, but that was about the extent of my recycling. There is so much more that we can do in our everyday lives. Here at Taino, reuse recyclables to start growing our own food in! Styrofoam cups, old tires, re-purposed jugs – anything is possible! it might sound a little intimidating but believe me it’s not! with so much information on the Internet you can get the answer to any questions you may have. If you have an excess of an item in your home, do a simple Google search to find creative ways of reusing it. It’s fun for kids and you can get really cool aesthetic effects too. Here are some of the ways we currently recycle here at the farm! Stay posted for our future recycling projects as well!
recycled bathtub

recycled bathtub

recycled cardboard for sheet mulching

recycled cardboard for sheet mulching

recycled-coconut recycled-egg-carton recycled-pinapple recycled-planter recycled-string recycled-styrofoam recycled-tires recycled-wood

I decided to clean out a spot to teach my class it’s basically a tool shed, but has good shade and lots of space.  I will post before and after pics in my next post, but here’s a little inspiration eye candy for you:

inspiration for our multi-function space

inspiration for our multi-function space

I love working on projects like this makes me feel like I’m in one of those makeover shows but only better – because it’s real life! I’m very passionate about community development and the kids are super excited to be part of the transformation process. In the area that is going to be transformed into our production kitchen and teaching area, there were lots of random empty beer bottles and other recyclables. l can’t just take them to the nearest recycling center, so I had to get creative. In the future, we have big ideas and big plans for a community recycling program. I took a look online and there are so many creative ways and projects to get involved with but  they take a little time and sometimes there is not enough time.  So I asked Victor the lead farmer here what I can do with them and he introduced me to a man who is sick with Aids and sells the bottles to cover transportation costs to get his meds. He is hard working and has a great sense of humor. I get so inspired to see people who persevere. It’s also one of the permaculture ethics I’ve learned here at the farm with Douglas Crouch my permaculture teacher. Care for the earth, care for the people, limit consumption, and share surplus. In return he gave me some yuca which is a local root crop. It has potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and Vitamin B. Hmmm I wonder how I’m going to prepare it!? The possibilities are endless! Yummmm!

https://treeyopermacultureedu.wordpress.com/about/ethics/