Robot Tin Can Planters

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What started as a recipe collection project in Cite Soleil morphed into a silly way to take old cans and breathe new life into them.

Interesting Recycling Facts / Metal
(courtesy of Benefits-of-Recycling)

  • Recycling steel and tin cans saves 74 percent of the energy used to make them.
  • Americans throw away enough aluminum every month to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet.
  • Americans throw out enough iron and steel to continuously supply all the auto makers in the entire nation.
  • A steel mill using recycled scrap reduces water pollution, air pollution, and mining waste by about 70 percent.
  • When you throw away an aluminum can you waste as much energy as if you’d filled the can half full of gasoline and poured it into the ground.
  • Americans use 100 million tin and steel cans each day.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a 100 watt light bulb for 20 hours, a computer for 3 hours, and a TV for 2 hours.

Robot Tin Can Planters
This is a simple project that even the smallest of hands can manage to create.

Medium and Large sized Tin Cans
Portable Glue Gun
Glue Sticks
A Rock
A Nail
Various found objects like: glass marbles, feathers, screws, lids, bolts, old zippers, bits of plastic, buttons, etc
*sturdy magnets (you can opt to glue your robot face pieces to magnets for a Mr. Potato Head-like flexibility)

1. Clean your can out and remove the label, if you don’t like it. If your can is not as pretty as you’d like, decorate it and let it dry before you start.
2. Position your nail over the bottom of the can and use the rock held in your other hand to pound in holes in the bottom of your can. We made 3 drainage holes.
3. Use your various found objects to create a robot face on your can, gluing each piece on with your glue gun. Be creative!
4. Fill your can 3/4 of the way with potting mix and you’re ready to plant!
5. Use a rag to gently wipe any soil off of the can’s lip, so it looks nice and clean.
6. Insert seeds and water your Robot Tin Can Planter. We opted for Cilantro, Mint and a Lettuce Medley.

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