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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. 


Un-Cut Pumpkins

- 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.  

Cut Pumpkins: 

- 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? 

Author

Maegan Clark

Maegan Clark loves social media even more than Southern sweet tea. She is currently pursuing her master’s in public administration and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a specialized study in public relations. Since working at Heifer, she has deepened her appreciation for the urgency with which we must end global hunger and poverty.