Published on October 30th, 2013 | by Chris Keenan
Pumpkin Recycling Tips
With Halloween just around the corner, it won’t be long before you find yourself burdened with sagging, smelly old jack-o-lanterns. Some people choose to smash their rotting pumpkins out in the streets or against their garage doors, while others simply throw them in the trash. But is this really the smart thing to do?
Every year billions of perfectly good pumpkins go to waste, filling up landfills where they take forever to decompose due to lack of sufficient oxygen. Below we will discuss some resourceful ways to use your Halloween pumpkins once the holiday has ended.
Cook the Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds make a delicious treat. When carving your jack-o-lanterns this year, set the seeds aside for roasting afterward. You don’t even have to clean them- the pumpkin goop adds a natural, delicious flavor.
Simply season with some salt, pepper, and whichever seasonings you prefer. This is an easy, fun and tasty way to use up every little bit of the pumpkin- and provides you with a healthy snack, to boot!
Save the Seeds For Replanting
If you don’t want to eat your pumpkin seeds, another suggestion is to simply save them for planting at a later time. This way you can grow your own pumpkin vine in the upcoming year. Don’t plant the seeds right away, though- they won’t be able to withstand the upcoming frost, and will wither in the ground.
Wait until March or April before you start planting your Fall garden. This is a good way to teach your children about planting your own produce, as well as giving a lesson in the cycle of life. Your kids will be thrilled if they grow a vine full of pumpkins from last year’s jack-o-lantern- not to mention the money you’ll save on next year’s pumpkins!
Bake Pumpkin Pie
If your Halloween pumpkin is still in good shape after Halloween, you might consider scooping out the insides and making a pumpkin pie from it. Autumn is the perfect season for baking, and nothing says Autumn like a home-made pumpkin pie.
Your family will love sinking their teeth into some scrumptious dessert made from their own jack-o-lanterns! (If your child has a somewhat emotional attachment to their jack-o-lantern, as some small children are prone to, it might be best to not do this in front of them- or use the opportunity to explain how the pumpkin can be reused to nourish their body.) Here are 10 other recipes for pumpkin!
Contact Your Local Zoo
Most zoos accept donations of pumpkins during the autumn months to use as special treats for their animals. This can be a fun day trip for you and your children, who will surely get a kick out of watching the zoo animals munch on their Halloween creations.
These are just a few suggestions as to what to do with your pumpkin(s) once Halloween is over. You can also use them as decorative pieces (provided they are not rotting yet), or make a compost pile from them in your yard. The week after Halloween is an excellent opportunity to teach your children why it’s important to not let anything go to waste!
Share your pumpkin recycling tips with us in the comments!
Halloween pumpkin from Shutterstock