Have a pumpkin or carved jack-o-lantern leftover from Halloween? Try these tips instead of throwing it away!
According to Our Gardening Diary, of the 2.5 billion pumpkins produced annually, only about one-fifth gets reused after Halloween. The other 80% end up in landfills, which creates methane gas that can harm the environment. This year, don’t throw your pumpkin in the trash! Try these tips for additional pumpkin projects and disposal.
- If you have an uncarved pumpkin, keep it out for fall decorations. Add a sprinkling of faux leaves or fall-colored items to spruce up the decor.
- Carve out the center and use it as a fall planter. Add marigolds or other plants inside for seasonal decorations.
- Let the kids paint them! Unleash the inner artists!
- Make a healthy snack. Cut the pumpkin open and scoop out the seeds. Rinse the seeds and then dry fully. The drier they are, the better they will roast. Place seeds on parchment paper and coat with olive oil and seasoning of your choice (salt, garlic, harissa, curry, chili powder, or whatever you like!). Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 25 minutes or until crispy.
- Add your pumpkin to a compost bin to help your garden.
- Cut the pumpkin open and take it to the woods or an open field for the wildlife to eat. The seeds act as a natural dewormer for animals. Be sure the pumpkin is cut open so larger animals (like deer) don’t get their heads stuck! Or, if you want to have some fun, SMASH the pumpkin open before leaving it for the animals.
Have fun and enjoy this healthy vegetable in new and inventive ways!