Carving pumpkins is a favorite Halloween tradition for many and they light the way for trick-or-treaters to porches and doorsteps across the country. But after the holiday is over, 1.3 billion pounds of leftover pumpkins make their way to landfills, and that’s just in the U.S. If you want to avoid adding to the trash and greenhouse gas emissions, there are lots of things to do with your leftover pumpkins instead.
These eco-friendly options will keep your old Halloween pumpkin out of the landfill:
- Compost - If you have a compost pile, add that gourd to it to reduce waste. You can get the seeds out to roast and snack on, or to plant next year to grow your own pumpkin. To compost yours, cut it into small pieces first to help it break down quicker and spread it around the compost pile.
- Bury it - No compost heap? No problem, just chop your pumpkin up and bury it around your garden.
- Cook with it - If your pumpkin hasn’t been carved into a jack-o’-lantern, you can turn it into a tasty soup, cook slices of it in an air fryer, or bake it into muffins or a pie.
- Donate it - Some animal rescues or shelters welcome donations to feed their animals.
- Make a bird feeder - Repurpose your pumpkin by turning it into a natural bird feeder in your yard. Hang smaller ones from branches, or slice it in half and leave it in the yard for birds and other wildlife to enjoy. Cardinals and blue jays reportedly love to eat pumpkin.
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