When Halloween is over, what will you do with your pumpkins? Here are a few great ways to continue to enjoy your pumpkins or recycle them out of the landfill!
We’ll follow the Environmental Protection Agency’s Food Recovery Hierarchy:
Source Reduction, Feed People, Feed Animals, & Compost.
Eat Your Pumpkins!
- Snacks- place the pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and toast for about 30 minutes. They are loaded with magnesium, zinc, protein, amino acids, antioxidants, and omega 3’s.
- Broth- boil all the slimy stuff to make broth for soup, adding carrots, celery, & other vegetables for flavor.
- Pumpkin Pie (Mmmmmm)
- Pumpkin Butter
Feed the Pumpkins To Wildlife
- Make a “Snack O Lantern” by filling your Jack’ O Lantern with seeds.
- Feed the birds and small mammals by mixing clean and dry pumpkin seeds to your existing birdseed. Don’t add any salt or seasonings. Place on a flat surface or a shallow bowl in your garden.
- Cut the pumpkin flesh into smaller pieces & leave it in your yard. Don’t do this is if bears or other large animals are in your area!
Plant the Pumpkin Seeds
- Save the seeds & plant them! The squash bee loves pumpkin flowers for nectar & pollen, so you’ll be doing all of us a favor by feeding our pollinators & saving the bees!
Compost your Pumpkins – they are 90% water, so this is an efficient process. Composting reduces the methane (a greenhouse gas) that is released into the atmosphere in landfills.
- For those lucky enough to have a municipal program, it’s easiest to place your pumpkins in a green bin. If your city doesn’t offer this service, give them a ring (or show up to a council meeting) and tell them you’d like it!
- If you want to compost in your yard, here are a few steps:
- Pull out the insides for toasting seeds and making broth
- Remove any candles, wax, or unnatural materials, such as stickers
- Find a sunny spot in your yard, break down your pumpkins, cover with some dirt and leaves. Nature will do its work with the FBI- fungus, bacteria, and invertebrae.
Annette Poliwka is an Environmentalist and Adventurer who empowers women to get outdoors. She inspires and women to challenge themselves, and to connect with their deeper selves.
She passionately helps people take that first step toward their out of doors goals, where they can own their personal power and build momentum around their dreams. Whether you want to start hiking, plan a backpacking trip, or explore your soul’s desires Annette is your go-to gal!
After spending more than 15 years working to protect the environment for local, federal and international governments on Zero Waste, she started her own company to empower women in the outdoors. Her goal is to rekindle our inner flame, to nourish our inner child, and to embark on the outdoor adventures we’ve dreamt about.