Sunday, February 28, 2010
Reducing kitchen waste and making suet for songbirds is a sustainable solution
If you have read our previous posts, you know that we are adamant about the benefits of composting. We have drastically reduced the amount of waste we send to the landfill. However, there are some kitchen wastes that should not go in the compost. Our dietary restrictions require that we cook most of our food at home (no processed or prepared food), so we may have more waste than other households. In our quest for sustainable solutions, we found another way to use kitchen wastes - bird food.
previous posts 1) What to compost? 2) Compost Tumblers
Why buy seeds for the bird feeders, when you could give them kitchen waste instead? Have you heard of the word "suet"? Suet is a type of bird food that is usually high protein and high fat. Both are perfect for songbirds in the winter when food is more scarce than other seasons.
After layering the ingredients, we froze the suet. Then we took out the block and chopped it with a chef's knife to fit in the suet cages that we already owned.
Once we put the suet outside, the birds came immediately. Ironically, even though they came close, they didn't actually eat it till the suet had been hanging outdoors for several days. We saw many different types of birds eating the suet including bright yellow warblers, ravens, mockingbirds, blue jays, a variety of sparrows, and cardinals. Suet is for the winter season when the birds need extra fat and protein. If the temperature rises above 65 degrees, then the suet should taken down and, unfortunately, thrown away. Do not compost it.
As I learn more about sustainable solutions and eco-friendly practices, I realize that even small decisions can make a big impact to our environment.