Eco-Friendly Gifts

Natural Egg Dying for Easter

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Naturally dyed Easter eggs (Photo: Wiki commons)

Do-It-Yourself Egg Dying At Home

It's Spring, and with the emergence of the crocus and daffodil it's also time to think about Easter and egg dying. If you're like me then growing up then you probably used the little colored pellets dissolved in vinegar and water to dye your eggs. It was the tradition. Long before there were pre-made dye pellets people used natural coloring for eggs. Today's post is all about how you can make your own dyes from foods and household objects. The nice thing about natural egg dying is that you can compost all of the materials you use to make the dyes and it's OK to eat the eggs after they are dyed.

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Here are some examples of naturally dyed eggs (Photo: Karen McDonald)

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Step By Step Instructions for Making Suet for Bird Feeders Backyardbirds flicker

Making Suet For Your Feeders is a Great Family Bonding Activity

This time of year many people choose to feed birds, which is a great way to support local native populations. I don't know about you, but the row after row of seed choices at the hardware store are intimidating. There are a wide variety of seeds available out there to choose from. Black oil sunflower is a favorite, but can be expensive. I've also found that the millet based seed is often just wasted. What you feed the birds really depends on where you live (an apartment manager may not like all the black oil shell husks) and the types of birds you want to feed. I'll cover choosing seeds in a later post, but for now here is a great reference page from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Today's post is all about suet, another form of food to feed birds.

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Yellow rumped warblers feeding at suet feeder. (Photo: Bobistraveling Flicker commons)

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Consider Reusable Sandwich Wrappers as Stocking Stuffers This Year

Often when I'm teaching, the groups that I work with stay over for lunch between programs. I like to join them to continue getting to know the visitors and also to talk to them about reducing the amount of waste in their lunches. I like to discuss the idea of "Zero Waste" lunches. A zero waste lunch is when you have no waste left over after you eat because you eat all the food, compost what isn't eaten, recycle plastics, and re-use containers. It's fun to challenge a class to do this for a whole year and also to have competitions between classes by weighing the food and waste produced or left over in the trash after the end of a meal.

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