Halloween has come to an end and in the next couple weeks it will be time to put up all the fall decorations. Which means all those awesome gourds and pumpkins will be thrown away. What if we could recycle our pumpkins and do something great with them?

Did you know…

According to Sustainability Kind Living, in the United States, over ONE BILLION POUNDS of pumpkins are tossed back into the landfills each and every year. Read that again… ONE BILLION POUNDS every year. That’s crazy to me! There has been a lot of talk lately in regards to climate change and the effect methane gas has on the environment. There is a large push underway right now to look at ways to reduce methane gas. One area where large amounts of methane gas is produced is in landfills when organic waste starts to break down. Hence our one billion pounds of pumpkin waste.

<Google Pumpkin Image>
Pumpkin Image

What can you do with your pumpkins…

So what does pumpkin waste and methane gas have to do with me? Well, glad you asked! Instead of just throwing those pumpkins and gourds in the landfill here are ways to recycle pumpkins:

  • If you have not carved out your pumpkins you can eat them! Make toasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin puree, etc. Click here for a link to some Betty Crocker recipes.
  • You can also donate pumpkins to your local farm/zoos for animal feed. Animals love to eat pumpkin!
  • Lets not forget to feed the birds. Cut the pumpkin in half and empty the cavity and birds will have a feast. You can also hang it from the tree or add the seeds to your birdfeeder. Make sure the seeds are rinsed and dried first before adding to a feeder!
  • Some cities also offer local pumpkin pickups for city wide compost projects or city gardens.
  • If you have a garden or area to toss the pumpkins to compost even better!! Pumpkins are primarily made up of water so that allows them to breakdown quickly. Some may worry that you don’t want the seeds to sprout (which they may) just take a garden hoe and run that across the sprouts to uproot and it will be all good.
  • Another option is to let the kids have fun and smash them!

Check out our other posts on how to start composting!