Halloween is over, and Thanksgiving is upon us. However, there is a great divide between those who decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving and those who wait until after they’ve had their turkey.
Your pumpkins have been carved, and it’s time for them to go, or perhaps you would like to get a head start on decorating for the holidays. Either way, here are some safe and fun ways to dispose of your pumpkins, other than punkin’ chunkin’—although that’s fun, too.
Make a Meal
When carving your pumpkin, save the bits cut off and use them to make pie, bread, or even soup. Seeds can be roasted and eaten as a snack, on their own, or incorporated into a salad.
Donate, Donate, Donate
As another alternative, pumpkins can be given to a local farm or zoo for the animals to enjoy if donations are accepted.
Break it Down
Composting is an excellent option for pumpkins. Be sure to wipe off any paint or wax and remove the candles before adding them to the bin. Chopping it up or smashing it beforehand will help it decompose faster. If you don’t compost, bury the pumpkin in your garden. It will decompose quickly and provide nutrients for the soil. Who knows, you might even grow a pumpkin!
Feed the Birds
Many birds will eat pumpkin seeds. You can cut up small pieces of the pumpkin and leave seeds in a bird feeder or leave pumpkin bits in your backyard. Consider bringing some to a wooded area and sprinkling some bits around for animals to find.
Speaking of birds, if you’re crafty, you could cut your jack-o-lantern in half to take the shape of a bowl, attach some strings, and fill it with bird seeds. Now you have a biodegradable bird feeder!
Fill your pumpkin with soil and add a plant, or some seeds. You’ve got yourself an instant plant pot! As the pumpkin decomposes, it will add nutrients to the soil.
If you have the space in your backyard, invite some friends over and play a backyard bowling game with pumpkins. Yes, it will be messy, but it’s also fun!
There are endless ways to utilize your old pumpkins—get creative. Whatever you do, please refrain from just throwing them away. Landfills were designed to store material, not pumpkins. So, when pumpkins are thrown away, they don’t break down properly. The lack of oxygen in landfills means organic matter like pumpkins produces methane gas, a greenhouse gas harmful to the climate.
If your pumpkins are still in great shape, consider keeping them as decor for Thanksgiving, After all, fall isn’t over yet.