Getting rid of a pumpkin jack-o'-lantern or other pumpkin decor left over from Halloween can be a daunting task. Don't rush to throw it in the trash. Use more environmentally friendly methods..
First of all, consider recycling or disposing of old Halloween pumpkins responsibly, while helping the environment. Mental Floss has explained how to do it.
1. Leave old pumpkins for local wildlife
You may have been using the pumpkin as a decoration for the past few weeks, but it's still a vegetable. Instead of letting it spoil, give it to wildlife to enjoy. Animals like porcupines, deer, and squirrels love to eat pumpkins.
To do this, cut the pumpkins into pieces and scatter them somewhere in the forest, but not near your home.
Alternatively, you can turn a jack-o'-lantern into a temporary bird feeder: just cut off the top of the pumpkin, let it dry, and fill it with seeds. Make sure you also save and dry the pumpkin seeds as animals also enjoy snacking on them.
If mold has formed on the pumpkin, it is better to throw it in the compost rather than feed it to animals.
2. Donate pumpkins to your local zoo
Many zoos, farms, and animal sanctuaries accept pumpkin donations after Halloween. Whole pumpkins are not only a nutritious snack but also useful toys for large animals such as cats and bears.
3. Compost pumpkins in your garden
Pumpkins are biodegradable, making them great candidates for composting. Even if you don't have a dedicated compost pile, you can still dispose of old pumpkins naturally in your garden. Simply dig a spot in the soil, add the pumpkin (either whole or cut into pieces to speed up decomposition), and bury it. If you don't want the pumpkins to grow in your garden next year, remove any extra seeds that are stuck to the inside before you put them in the ground.
4. Break it up by having a party
One of the most fun ways to recycle a pumpkin is to have an annual pumpkin smash. If your community doesn't have one, you can do it yourself or with friends. The remains should be collected and thrown into the compost.
Earlier, we shared how to make pumpkin marmalade. This healthy dessert should be consumed in moderation.
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