As the season of tricks, treats and fall leaves comes to a close, it’s time to consider ways to reuse pumpkins serving as the focal point of your decor before sending them on their merry way. Each year, more than 1 billion pumpkins end up in landfills. Before you lift that dumpster lid and play a game of jack-o-lantern basketball, consider these ways to use your leftover decor to do a little gourd for yourself and Mother Earth.
How to Reuse Pumpkins When They’re Uncarved
- Turn ‘em into a snack for your family. If your pumpkin didn’t fall victim to festive plastic surgery this Halloween, there’s no time like the present to cut that bad boy open, scoop out the seeds and do a little roasting.
- Make pumpkin puree. Note: this one is for the uncarved pumpkin. Just because it’s outstayed its welcome on your front porch doesn’t mean it can’t have a very nice second life as the main ingredient for pumpkin bread. Scoop out the insides, separate the seeds and put the remaining material in a food processor or blender
How to Reuse Carved Gourds
- Feed your green friends. Add some soil and a plant of your choice to the inside of your pumpkin and put it inside of a larger planter. The pumpkin will break down and create fertilizer for your plant.
- Or, feed your neighborhood woodland creatures. Grab a hammer, a mallet, or whatever tool you have on hand and get to smashing. Leave the pieces in a field or the woods. Bambi and his squad will thank you, and you’ll thank yourself for the opportunity to release a little pent-up anger.
How to Reuse Both Carved and Uncarved Pumpkins
- Turn it into a dish for birdseed. Whether your pumpkin is carved or whole, chop it down to create a bowl-like shape. Then, add some rope, fill it with seed and hang it in a tree for your birds to enjoy.