5 ways to recycle your spooky Halloween pumpkins

Trying to figure out what to do with your pumpkins after October 31? Don't let your jack-o'-lanterns go to waste by reading these hauntingly helpful suggestions.

One of the scariest aspects of Halloween is the amount of waste it creates each year. Over 18,000 tonnes of edible pumpkin flesh goes to waste in the UK due to carving alone. Which is why we wanted to share some simple ways to reuse or dispose of your pumpkins once Halloween comes to an end.

Create a pumpkin bird feeder

5 ways to recycle your spooky Halloween pumpkin

Give those little feathery visitors to your garden or balcony a little treat this autumn and make a homemade pumpkin bird feeder. You can do this my simply adding small holes to your pumpkin to allow for sting to be pulled through and hang them around your garden or from your bird feeder stand. You can also place some bird feed into the pumpkins too, this will make them an extra treat for any little bird passing by.

Compost or re-sow

Pumpkins are the perfect addition to any compost heap and it is eco-friendly way to dispose of them rather than adding them to your waste bin. They break down very easily when composted and will help to nourish soil for your plants.

It is also important to remember that you should remove all seeds from inside each pumpkin so they don't start to root and grow in your compost bin. Why not keep those seeds and attempt to grow your very own pumpkin patch next year? Wash away all of the excess pulp from the seeds and set them aside to dry. Store them in a cool, dry paper bag or envelope until you are ready to planting.

5 ways to recycle your spooky Halloween pumpkin

Feed the wildlife

You might not have encountered some of the small animals forage around our gardens in search of food, especially during the autumn months. These little animals would love nothing more that to find a tasty pumpkin treat while out and about. So why not chop up and share your leftover pumpkins and toss them out into the garden or under hedgerow or in between plants.

You could also check in with a local farmer or pet-farm and ask if they would be interested in taking some pumpkins as a treat for some of their animals. (It might also be important to note that you should not feed pumpkins that could potentially have spilled candle wax in them or that have been painted on to animals as it can be dangerous to both their tummies and the eco-system)

Roast pumpkin seeds

5 ways to recycle your spooky Halloween pumpkin

A lot of people might not realise that pumpkin seeds are edible and highly nutritious. They are even yummier when roasted. Spread them onto an oven tray with some olive oil and roast at 170ºC for 30-40 mins or until golden brown.

Once roasted these seeds are a perfect topper for soups and a yummy addition to a winter salad or hummus

Make pumpkin soup/ loaf

Before you decide to get rid of those uncarved pumpkins, don’t forget that they are a source of food so you might want to consider eating them. Use these pumpkins to bake a simple, festive pumpkin spice loaf to share with your friends and family or cook a delicious, seasonal pumpkin soup. Pumpkin is also a highly nutritious addition to any roast or stew. The perfect way to warm up on a cold autumn day and a sustainable way to use up the last of your produce before it starts to spoil.

So whether you’re cutting out a spooky jack-o’-lantern or just using your pumpkins for pretty autumn or halloween decor on your front porch, it is important to be mindful of how you dispose of them once all of those goulish witches + goblins have left.

If you enjoyed reading this post you might also be interested in checking out our piece on "A simple guide to having a more sustainable Halloween".

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About the author

Aoife is a Content Creator + Digital Content Manager here at Bon+Berg with a love for nature, exploring the outdoors + Pinterest.

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