Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Bird Feeder For Sale - Is It Sustainable?

As many of you know I make and sell a few items on Etsy.


This has been great for me so far, a great to supplement my income and keep me working from home making items I enjoy making. 

The latest item I've added to my list has been wooden bird feeders. 



If I'm honest it's not something I've ever aspired to make but I want everything in my workshop to be as zero waste as possible and these are a solution to that. 

When making my harvest baskets there is a strip of galvanised mesh left that I wanted to use for something, rather than put it in a metal recycling skip.


These little bird feeders seem the perfect answer. 

I tend to make little batches at a time when I have some orders in. Each side gets branded with my branding iron and all the wood gets treated with boiled linseed oil. 

I think they look pretty cute. We've got one up here on my shed an there is a pair of woodpeckers that won't leave it alone! 

My only regret is currently I'm still using standard parcel tape when shipping. I'm struggling to find a plastic free alternative that is good and affordable, I buy a roll of tape for 30p whereas the paper based ones are more like £3-£4 and most won't stick on themselves and as my packaging is recycled it is hard to make secure. I've spent hours looking for an alternative so if anyone knows a good plastic free tape I can use please let me know. 

Other than that I'm happy with the eco-credentials of these products.  



These will last far longer than ones with a plastic top and bottom that go brittle after a season and be far more environmentally friendly, at the end of their long life the wood can be burnt and the metal melted down and recycled. the string will probably need to be replaced every few years though but I thought it was better than using wire. 

Reducing our waste as a family is really hard but I do find that my workshop produces very little except when buying in tools or fixings. Wood scraps are used as kindling through the winter to keep us warm, sawdust is used in my composting toilet and the compost area year round and any metal waste is either reused or recycled. 


Let me know what you think! 

And if anyone has a good solution to a plastic free tape then please let me know! 

20 comments:

  1. Well done Kev, I live to see everything being used up, can't help you with the tape. I had a lovely hand dyed yarn parcel today, sent in a card box, everything recyclable. It's great to see people thinking about the packaging.

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    1. It is. I remember 10 years ago on our honeymoon they did us a packed lunch with no plastic. I thought it was great then.

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  2. can you move to the states so i can buy all of your stuff?

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    1. Haha! We looked at Canada many years ago!

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  3. https://www.theplasticfreeshop.co.uk/100-recycled-eco-paper-packing-tape

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    1. That's ten times the cost of what I currently use unfortunaly, it really takes away from the little money make from these products and I don't think I can increase the price and still sell them.

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  4. When I was in the Brownies (I'm now 67!) I had to learn to wrap a parcel using just brown paper and string and it is quite a skill. It was then usual to put a dob of sealing wax over the knot before posting. I don't know current posting regulations but would that solve your problem?

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    1. They're some pretty odd shaped boxes for the bigger items. Fairly sure the parcel companies play football with them as well.

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  5. Could you contact Amazon and ask them about the reinforced tape they use? Is that paper based? I cant think right now

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    1. They have a special gun that puts it on using water I think.

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  6. If you think about the person in your life that wraps Christmas Gifts with so much ribbon that you joke it will sustain the most brutal shipping ... then maybe you can use twine .... super knots and all ...

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    1. I think it's the way they handle parcels these days that makes it so you can't do that anymore, gets caught in the conveyors.

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  7. Hi Kev, this is cheaper: https://www.kitepackaging.co.uk/scp/tapes/self-adhesive-paper-kraft-tape/
    Don't know if there is a minimum order.

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  8. Hey Kev, you might want to rethink the string. Sure it's biodegradeable, but around her string/rope/twine doesn't last since the squirrels chew through it almost immediately and make off with the feeders. Wire is best - there's a lot of discarded wire that could use a good recyle on your feeders.

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    1. It's something to think about. Ours has been up a while now and we've loads of squirrels around. I'll have a look though, might be something I change.

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  9. Kev, it looks great! And good for you for trying to find an alternative to that horrid plastic tape for packages. Cardboard is so useful and easy to recycle, but that tape is a real nuisance.

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    1. Thanks Leigh.
      We love having lots of cardboard here. Great as a mulch and lots of other uses.

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