The Boo-tacular Pumpkin Recycling


Happy Halloween!

A great Halloween tradition is carving pumpkins, but what to do with all of the un-jack-o-lantern by products? Here are a few ways to make sure that your pumpkin is looking just as good as its post-Halloween waste cycle.

1. Pumpkin Seeds
Need I say more? They are a delicious treat and if you save a few, you can even plant some pumpkins in your yard for next year. A quick How-To get those pumpkin seeds tasting delicious: First remove pumpkin seeds from your beloved, then rinse them thoroughly getting all of that pumpkin gunk off. Let them dry (or pat dry them if you are in a rush). Some people let them dry for days, others only a half hour. Then heat up your oven to around 300 degrees F/150 degrees C. Spread the pumpkin seeds out on a cookie sheet. Then sprinkle them with a little bit of olive oil or butter and top it with salt (sea salt is especially good). Toss the cookie sheet in the oven and give it a good stir every 10-15 minute or so. Typically, they cook for 30 – 45 minutes but just look for a few of them to start to brown on the outside. Then let them cool and Viola! Delicious pumpkin seeds.

2. Compost the ‘Innards’
If you have a home compost system, throw this nutrient-rich plant in there! This part is easy because there isn’t any wax residue to pick out prior to composting (unless it is beeswax, then you can leave it in). Some Cities are offering citywide composting, like San Francisco, and others have seasonal composting, so check with your local government and wast facilities to see if there is a composting center near you.

3. Recycle (compost) your Pumpkin at a Pumpkin Drive
Now that your fantastic Halloween costumes have been carefully stored and the candy nearly devoured, what to do with that Jack O Lantern out front? A growing number of churches, high schools, and other organizations have started ‘Pumpkin Drives’. Just load up your pumpkins and bring it on down, they have either a large dumpster-like bin or other facilities. You can also check with your City’s composting units, as with the innards, to see what their policy is for composting pumpkins. So keep your eyes open for Pumpkin Drive signs to keep that pumpkin out of the landfill, so we can give it and its nutrients back to good old Mother Earth.

Happy Pumpkin Composting!

Photo Credit: Natural Home Magazine

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  1. Good post. I think quite a lot of people don’t know or think about putting the leftovers to good use after making their jack-o-lanterns.

  2. Mmmm I can’t practically taste the freshly baked pumpkin seeds. It is important to recycle pumpkin waste though. With the huge amount of pumpkins told, that can add up to a lot of garbage if people don’t compost.

  3. Paul I think the seeds need plenty of salt and some oil. They need to be nice and crunchy so they don’t get stuck in your teeth. As long as you at least recycle the seeds, it’s all good.

  4. Yea, I also tried to eat the seeds but couldn’t really get myself to go on. I’ll try adding some salt and oil next time though as I just had them without any sort of seasoning that time.

  5. Will have to give some of these s ahot and to also keep it in mind for the next time Halloween rolls around!


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