One Green Thing: More thrifty ideas…

By Jan Herbert

Rockford Park District

Whether you were “green” before the color was fashionable or whether you’re just ready to find the “shade” that works best for you, here’s information about doing just “one green thing.”

These ideas are all “for the birds”…

It is time for spring cleaning for your bird feeders. Washing reduces the possibility of spreading diseases. You can make your own disinfecting solution by mixing 2 ounces of bleach to 1 gallon of water. Use a small scrub brush, rinse thoroughly, and place in the sun to dry. Then, take a trip to the store for seeds to plant.

Seed-eating birds will enjoy sunflowers, cleomes, cosmos, bachelor’s buttons, Mexican sunflowers and black-eyed Susans. These types are mostly good for cut flowers, too, according to Birds and Blooms magazine.

You can re-use things such as old muffin tins, a plastic hanging basket, or a saucer to feed the birds regular bird seed. Even an old coconut cut in half makes a good serving dish. Just look around (I may use this as the opportunity to toss those cereal bowls that have become chipped and unattractive). I’ll have to remember, however, to avoid letting rain accumulate in any of these…or get busy with my drill and tap some small holes in these items. The plastic milk jug will work as is, however; I can glue the lid on, make a way to hang it, and just cut a hole in the side the birds can go in and out of it. Should provide us some amusement as well.

Maybe I will slap some paint on a couple of those old birdhouses. The birds don’t care how sloppy I am, and it will keep me busy and away from planting too soon…nice weather days sure get me excited about spring!

For more information, e-mail Jan Herbert at

From the April 28-May 4, 2010 issue

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