After the holiday season, many of us wonder about alternatives for our older holiday décor, fruit, and even leftover food. Though most decorations are saved for future seasons, some perishable and worn decorations find their way to the trash. Before throwing these items away, consider reusing them. A great, and green, alternative is to recycle many of your items for the benefit of birds and other wildlife.

Birds and wildlife typically have a much harder time finding feed and good shelter in the winter. A fantastic way to help their plight is to reuse and convert your items for their benefit. One of the most popular and abundant decorations is the pinecone, which can easily double as a suet or seed feeder (use pinecones that have no glitter, glue, or other residue so they are safe for wildlife). Simply dip your pinecone in melted suet, let it cool in the suet, then hang it below an existing feeder or from a nearby tree branch. You can also roll the semi-cooled pinecone in seed or nuts to make a seed and suet combo feeder. Strands of popcorn are often a traditional adornment on trees, and once used, can offer wildlife sustenance. Remove the popcorn from its string, and place it in a bowl for the birds and squirrels. Fresh and dried fruit, leftovers, and stale or even moldy bread are also viable options for feeding to the birds. If you have an unheated bird bath in your yard, it can easily become a platform feeder during the winter months.

To assist birds with cold weather shelter, consider reusing your damaged or broken grapevine figurines. Old or damaged grapevine and wooden sculptures that once adorned the front yard may easily be moved to the back yard to create temporary winter shelter and topiaries or trellises in the spring. While providing a windbreak, perching area, and shelter in the winter, they can become truly remarkable in the spring and summer. Turn these decorations into trellises or topiaries by planting vines or climbing flowers and plants at their base. As the plants grow, they can turn these classic shapes into dramatic outdoor sculptures. In addition to revitalizing the yard, the topiaries offer added shelter to wildlife and will be even more effective the coming year.

Seasonal wreaths that have lost their luster needn't be completely discarded. Their silhouette offers a variety of reuse options. For a wreath that originally used fresh evergreen boughs or holly leaves, simply remove the older parts of the wreath. Add dried fruit, nuts, and seed to the openings, creating a feeding wreath the birds will certainly welcome. You may also wish to save the frame until early spring. The unit can be filled with nesting material and placed outdoors for the birds to create their new homes.

Make good use of your old and tired decorations while assisting your local wildlife. For items than cannot be converted to a new use, consider traditional recycling methods for them. BestNest has a wide selection of bird seed, suet, and other birding items available in the Wild Birds department, to meet all your birding needs. If you would like more personal assistance, please call one of our customer service representatives toll free at 877-562-1818 from 9 AM to 5 PM Eastern Standard Time Monday through Friday.