It’s likely that your beautifully painted pumpkins and carved jack-o-lanterns are approaching the point of no return. Perhaps you’ve purchased some new pumpkins to replenish your doorstep for Thanksgiving, but before we know it the fall holidays will have come and passed. When it comes time to throw them out, you may want to reconsider and recycle your pumpkins instead.
Did you know that each year, more than 1 billion pumpkins are tossed into America’s landfills? When they rot, they produce methane gas, which is more potent than carbon dioxide. Not to mention, many are thrown out the day after Halloween, contributing to America’s 30.3 million tons of annual food waste. Don’t contribute to the problem! There are plenty of ways that you can recycle your pumpkins!
Roast the Seeds
There’s no better fall snack than roasted pumpkin seeds! Before simply tossing your pumpkins, get the seeds out to create a tasty snack. Of course, if your pumpkin was carved, the seeds were already removed. However, if you took advantage of the pumpkin painting trend, the seeds are still safely concealed inside your work of art, ready to be roasted! Not only are the seeds tasty, but they’re full of nutrients like iron, B2, and calcium. Additionally, they are a good source of protein!
Compost Your Pumpkins
Pumpkins are 90% water, which allows them to break down easily. This makes them a great addition to a compost pile. Before you place them there, be sure to clean out the seeds so that more pumpkins don’t grow! If you don’t have your own compost pile, you can check for local farms or gardens to which you can donate your old pumpkin.
Use it for Baking
It’s no secret that once the leaves start changing, everything becomes pumpkin flavored. Why not use your leftover pumpkin to create a delicious fall dessert? In fact, pumpkin puree is used in a wide range of foods like pumpkin pie, ice cream, milkshakes, and even lattes! It won’t get any more fresh-baked than this!
Make a Face Mask
Not only can the pumpkin puree be used to bake delectable desserts, but it can also be good for your skin! Make your own face masks to freshen up your complexion. Mix in different ingredients depending on your skin type, like honey for dry skin and apple cider vinegar for oily skin. Have a fall-themed spa night with your homemade face mask!
Feed the Animals
Leave your pumpkin out for your furry friends! Whether it’s for squirrels or birds, they will enjoy a treat. For squirrels or deer, simply leave the jack-o-lantern as is. Or, you can chop it up into small pieces for them. For birds, you can slice off the top of the pumpkin, clean out the insides, and fill it with birdseed to create a homemade bird feeder.
There are plenty of ways to recycle your pumpkins instead of tossing them in the trash. Not only will you be limiting the amount of food waste you produce, but you’ll also be able to enjoy a tasty dessert, a salty fall snack, or a face mask!
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