Halloween is over, and your pumpkin is starting to sag…and smell! Your first thought may be to throw it in the rubbish bin, but think about it first. Adding pumpkins to rubbish bags makes them very heavy and fills up space at landfill. There are better ways to get rid of your old pumpkins. In fact, rather than throwing away your pumpkins, recycling pumpkins is the responsible and environmentally friendly thing to do.
Use it for decorating after Halloween. If the pumpkin is not in bad shape, you can scoop out the insides, clean it up and use it to hold a dried flower arrangement or even a food item like stuffing (if the jack-o-lantern holes aren't too big!). You could also place a glass vase full of water inside the pumpkin and fill it with live flowers.
Use it for food. Clean and roast the seeds for a healthy, yummy snack. Clean the pumpkin as well, roast it and then scoop out the flesh. Mash it down with a large fork, and mix with melted butter and brown sugar to make a sweet and good for you baby food. Adults might like it too!
Use it for compost. If your pumpkin is rotting, break it up and add it to your compost pile or bury it around your rose bushes. It will decompose and add valuable nutrients to the soil.
Use it to feed wild animals. Scatter pumpkin seeds on the ground or in a feeder for birds and squirrels. Some zoos accept donations of pumpkins to feed to their animals as a seasonal treat. Give your local zoo a call and check! You may even be able to take your children to see the zoo keepers feed the animals your pumpkins.
Use your recycling bin. Many cities will accept pumpkins in yard waste bins, and some cities that do not provide yard waste bins will still accept them at organic material recycling centers, although they will charge a small fee.