8 Green Ways to Recycle Halloween Pumpkins!

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After the Halloween parties are over and the trick-or-treating is done, what can you do with those spooky jack-o’lanterns, besides throwing them in the trash? Here are a few ideas to extend the life of your Halloween pumpkins.

  1. Make a pumpkin planter.  Pack some potting soil into the top of your jack-o’lantern and plant autumn-blooming annuals inside. They’ll last about a month, keeping the Halloween spirit alive until Thanksgiving! Be sure to place your pumpkin planters directly on the ground and not on your porch, because as the pumpkin rots, it can leave stains underneath.

  2. Build a biodegradable bird feeder. Just pour some birdseed into your leftover pumpkin and place it somewhere in the yard where you can view it from a window in the house. It will attract birds and other wildlife, giving you and your family lots of opportunity for observing nature from the comfort of your own living room.

  3. Make a therapeutic facial mask. Use this method for pumpkins that haven’t been carved. Scoop out and puree the pulp, then mix it with a few other ingredients to make a pumpkin spa treatment that’s high in nutrients your skin craves! Here are some recipes.

  4. Eat it. Another idea for pumpkins that haven’t been carved! Halloween pumpkins are not the same as pie pumpkins, but they are still edible. There are tons of fun pumpkin recipes to try, like pumpkin bread, pumpkin candy, and pumpkin soup. Even those tiny decorative pumpkins can be made into baked pumpkin pots, which will go over great at Thanksgiving dinner!

  5. Leave it for the deer. If you have deer or wild turkeys in your neighborhood, they would love to eat your leftover pumpkins! Set the pumpkins outside in an edge environment (a place where the woods border a field or meadow) to give these wild animals the best shot at finding them.

  6. Feed it to farm animals. Pigs, in particular, are very fond of pumpkins. If there is a pastured pig farm or potbelly pig rescue in your area, call and offer to donate your pumpkins to them! Chances are, both the farmer and the pigs will be delighted to take them off your hands.

  7. Pickle it. Pickled pumpkin rinds are a thing, and they’re delicious! Check out this recipe.

  8. Preserve it! If one of your family members carved a particularly spooky or funny jack-o’lantern this Halloween, why not keep it around for years to come? Just coat the inside and outside of the pumpkin with clear PVC glue. This will preserve your jack-o’lantern, and will make a great vase or candy jar that can be used next Halloween, too!