CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Halloween has come and gone, but what do you do with carved pumpkins?
Every year, thousands of pumpkins get tossed in the trash and end up in landfills, according to Better Homes & Gardens, but there are plenty of ways to recycle your Halloween pumpkins.
To make room for the next holiday’s decorations at your home, try these recycling ideas:
Most pumpkins are edible
You can always bring any clean, uncarved pumpkins to the kitchen to eat yourself. You can roast pumpkin seeds, or you can use the flesh of the pumpkin to make puree for any recipe that calls for the canned version.
Some varieties like Jarrahdale, Hubbard, and Pie pumpkins are grown for eating, so they have naturally sweet, smooth flesh and may give you more puree per pound of pumpkin.
It is recommended to only eat the pumpkins that you’ve kept inside.
Pass Along Your Pumpkins
See if you can donate your pumpkins to zoos, animal shelters, farms, or community gardens. They’ll be grateful for the compost material or animal snacks.
Some towns do a pumpkin collection drive after Halloween, and some farms put out calls for local pumpkin donations.
Feed birds with your pumpkins
Turn your Halloween pumpkin into a bird feeder! Just cut a pumpkin in half horizontally, empty the cavity, and fill it with birdseed. Either leave it out, as is or hang it from a tree with several lengths of thick twine or rope wrapped under the base.
You can also add pumpkin seeds to your regular bird seed.
Because pumpkins are so watery, they decompose quickly, but it’ll go even faster if you break them apart first. Remember to remove the seeds first, so your gourds don’t root in the pile.
Play with your pumpkins
Try pumpkin bowling by filling plastic bottles with water and setting them up in a 10-pin triangle. Take turns rolling your pumpkin bowling-ball-style to see who can knock down the most bottles. You can also look for a pumpkin-chucking catapult event in your area for a chance to send yours flying through the air.
Feed the wildlife
Your pumpkin also makes the perfect snack for neighborhood wildlife. Once you’re done displaying your pumpkins, cut them up into fourths and place pieces around your yard. Deer, rabbits, and other creatures will make short work of them.
Don’t give animals any painted pumpkins.
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