One of the most magical things about Autumn is the yearly appearance of a rather mysterious fruit we’ve learned to love in our coffee, that sits on our doorstep and is plastered on seasonal advertising. Yes, I’m talking about pumpkins and yes, pumpkins are a fruit. Like most fruits, pumpkins will rot overtime. As the season draws to a close and Halloween passes by, you may find yourself left with pumpkins aplenty but have little idea what to do with them.
Here are five, environmentally-friendly and creative options of what to do with leftover Halloween pumpkins.
The most effective way to give back to the environment while simultaneously disposing of your leftover pumpkins is to compost! Whether you choose to cut up and bury the pumpkin in your garden, bag it and throw it into a compost bin or donate it to local composting facilities, you can responsibly dispose of them with very little judgement of your carving skills.
- Roasting the Seeds
Pumpkin seeds can be scraped out, cleaned and roasted for human consumption! They make for a salty snack, complementary to the season and your late night cravings. Roast them with a little salt and paprika for simple flavoring, or browse Pinterest for more recipe ideas.
- Eat Them
Although some pumpkins are better for baking, traditional Jack O’ Lantern pumpkins can still be edible in various forms. You can create pumpkin puree (which can be a tasty and healthy addition to most pet’s food) or use that puree for muffins, bread, soup, etc. The stringy guts of the pumpkin can be repurposed into a flavourful soup stock or you can even make your own pumpkin spice latte!
- Enrich Your Garden
Pumpkins can give back to the environment in more ways than just composting. For example, saving seeds to plant for next year is a fun, engaging project for anyone of all ages. You may also try using their hollow shells as an outdoor planter, or check out this Martha Stewart Instructional page on how to build a bird feeder out of a pumpkin!
- Spice Up Your Beauty Routine
If you’re the kind of person who takes skin care seriously, you may already know that pumpkins are loaded with vitamins A, C and E. These vitamins are excellent for younger, healthier skin. Follow a recipe to make your own pumpkin face mask or body scrub!
The traditional use of pumpkins will continue to be a Fall enthusiast’s favorite. Pumpkins are largely versatile in their use so it’s important we make the most of them and limit our waste as much as possible. Allow yourself to be inspired, ignite your creativity and don’t forget to have fun!