Ways to reuse, recycle pumpkins instead of trashing them

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A close up of daughter and father hand who pulls seeds and fibrous material from a pumpkin before carving for Halloween. Prepares a jack-o-lantern. Decoration for party. Happy family. Little helper. Top view.

Halloween is right at our heels and that means pumpkin season.

At the end of the season, many people will throw their pumpkins away resulting in more than 1.3 billion pounds in the U.S. adding to landfills.

Instead of simply tossing them, here are some ways to reuse and recycle your pumpkins:

  • Donate your unpainted, unspoiled pumpkins to your local zoo. They use pumpkins for animal enrichment activities.
  • Add your pumpkin, without its seeds, to a compost bin.
  • Cut your pumpkin up and bury it in your garden. Once it decomposes, the pumpkin will help enrich the soil.
  • Give it to the wildlife around you. Use pumpkin seeds to feed birds in your bird feeders, and cut your pumpkin up for a treat for deer, squirrel and more wildlife — just be sure to place it far away from your home.
  • Roast the pumpkin seeds; make pumpkin pie, soup or bread.

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