Fall is quickly turning to winter, and if you're like me, you're probably racing to enjoy what little time you have left of this nice autumn season. The other day, I stepped out my front door and what did I see in the corner of my eye? It was hard to make out. Was it a dead animal? Was it garbage? I got closer and realized it was a melted, rotten pumpkin I put out weeks earlier. Unfortunately, my once beautiful jack-o-lantern was not surviving the weather well but I had no idea where to throw away my pumpkin after Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Turns out, you don't have to just throw your once beautiful jack-o-lantern in the garbage once the fall holidays end; if you want to be a little greener, there are ways to recycle your pumpkin after Halloween and Thanksgiving, including composting it (either directly into the ground, or via a compostable garbage bag), repurposing it for a face mask or turning it into some kind of edible treat, from pumpkin puree to chips. Who doesn't love eating anything pumpkin?
So when you're about to chuck the pumpkin that's been proudly displayed in your home or on your front porch as soon as Halloween and Thanksgiving end, twice before you toss it. There are plenty of ways you can save your pumpkin from the trash. Here's how.
Give It To Your Local Farm
We are not the only ones who eat pumpkins. So if your pumpkin has been through a lot, giving it to a local farm isn't a bad idea and your jack-o-lantern can now be a delicious treat for animals on the farm. Just call in advance and make sure they have a use for it. If you don't live by any farms you can chop it up and place it in the woods for birds, critters, and deers to eat.
Add It To Your Garden
Pumpkins are mostly made up of water, so tossing them into your compost is a great way to fertilize your garden and to give your plants nutrition. If you don't have your own compost or garden patch, donate them to the local community garden. If you want to grow your own pumpkins plant some seeds in your garden.
Make A Candle
Making a pumpkin candle is a great idea if you are looking for a creative Thanksgiving centerpiece. All you need are some pumpkins, which we already know you have, some soy wax or bees wax, wicks (all of which you can find easily on Amazon), and cinnamon if you want to add a festive scent. They're a great holiday gift or centerpiece idea.
Pumpkin spice, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, they all have the same origin: pumpkins! Pumpkin puree is in almost any festive pumpkin dish you will ever make, and while you can buy canned versions, recycling your jack-o-lantern into a puree is a wonderful way to spice up your Thanksgiving spread and impress everyone who'll listen.
Make A Face Mask
Did you know that pumpkins contain Vitamin C, Vitamin A, zinc and plenty of antioxidants? Take that homemade pumpkin puree you just made and make this amazing, four-ingredient pumpkin face mask recipe from Wellness Mama.
People just love anything with the word pumpkin in it. Be a hit at any Thanksgiving party with a delicious pumpkin cocktail, like this flavored Old Fashioned from Saveur.
If your pumpkin's skin is still nice and orange, try making some pumpkin chips. Peel the skin, sprinkle them with some spices, and let them dry out in a dehydrator or throw them in the oven. You can serve them at your next get together, or binge on them — guilt-free — while you watch your favorite shows.
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