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How to Recycle Halloween Pumpkins

Wellness

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.

 

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