Now that Halloween is over, it's time to think about what to do with those pumpkins. Whether you cut them for jack-o-lanters or just left them out for decorations, there are several environmentally friendly things you can do with each.
- Make toasted pumpkin seeds:
- Cut open the pumpkin
- Remove the seeds
- Clean them
- Lay them on a baking sheet and toss with a little salt
- Put the seeds on the baking sheet in a preheated oven on 250 degrees for about 35 min.
- Remove the seeds, let them cool and enjoy!
- You can also keep some of the pumpkin seeds and plant them the following year for your own crop of pumpkins.
- If you cut the pumpkin just for the seeds, you can also use the flesh of the pumpkin to make a variety of pumpkin dishes. You can refrigerate it for a couple of days and use it for baking or cooking, or freeze it and use it in a few months.
- Create centerpieces for a Thanksgiving display.
- Feed the pumpkins to wildlife. The pumpkin won't hurt the wildlife, and they will consider it a tasty treat! (Do not feed a moldy pumpkin, only fresh.)
- Donate the pumpkins to local farmers who can use them to feed their livestock.
- Compost the jack-o'-lantern by on a bed of leaves or other plant trimmings. You can add some other compost material on top, and it will compost over time.
- If you have an area where there are a lot of ants, you can create a home for the ant colony. This is a good solution for pumpkins that have begun to mold on the inside slightly.
So what will you do with your old pumpkins?