Don't Trash Your Pumpkins!
Now that spooky season is over, you probably are left with those cute (slightly decaying) pumpkins that you carved, painted, or just admired in the spirit of fall! Instead of just tossing those pumpkins in the garbage bin this season, dispose of them in an eco-friendly way and give back to the Earth.
According to the United States Department of Energy, “with the passing of Halloween, millions of pounds of pumpkins have turned from seasonal decorations to trash destined for landfills, adding to more than 254 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) produced in the United States every year.” This is a crazy amount of waste going into the landfill that could be mitigated by making a simple habit change each Halloween.
Here are some simple ways to consciously dispose of those pumpkins this week!
If you still have pumpkin seeds left, plant them! Pumpkin flowers are a source of nectar and pollen for bees and their young, so planting those seeds will support your local pollinators from your very own yard. If you don’t want flowers, dry those seeds out on your counter and sprinkle them outside for the birds to enjoy.
If your pumpkin is still whole, eat it! Pumpkins are highly nutritional, and you can make many great recipes using every part of the pumpkin.
If your pumpkin is still firm, turn it into a fun bird feeder! Tie a rope/ribbon/twine through your carved pumpkin, fill halfway full with seeds, and hang on a nearby tree. Once your pumpkin starts looking a bit wrinkly, see the next suggestion for what you can do.
Compost that bad boy! What better way to dispose of something than directly back into the soil that grew it. Pumpkins are 90% water, so you can place your pumpkin anywhere outside and it will decompose very quickly. Place the pumpkin at the far end of your garden, tuck it under a tree, drop it off in the woods by your house, or just be like me and toss it straight into the middle of your yard so you can watch the animals come check it out!
If these options just aren’t your jam, check if your city has a local drop-off! The cities surrounding me here in Minnesota have pumpkin smashing events, as well as just general collection for compost. Type in your search bar: “pumpkin collection event near me” to find out if there is anything near you. (Side note: install Ecosia into your web browser to contribute to restorative tree planting projects around the world!)
Hopefully this article has inspired you to not trash your fall pumpkins this year! When you can make simple changes like this each year, you ARE making a difference in the climate movement and living a more eco-concious life. As always, keep cutting the crap!
On a more serious note
Get out tomorrow and VOTE if you haven’t already. It is critical that we have a president this term who has the climate’s best interest on their agenda. Donald Trump is one of the most harmful things to the environment right now, which is evidently seen in the 100 environmental protections that he has already stripped back, and continues to do all the way up until even this week. Here are the resources that we have put together so that you can be an educated and informed voter this election. Thank you for using your voice!