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5 Fun Ways to Reuse Pumpkins After Halloween

There are so many ways to reuse pumpkins after Halloween. Here are five creative options, from having a spa day to using it as a plant pot.

Written by
Anna Simonson

Halloween is right around the corner, and people are getting ready to celebrate with candy, costumes, and—of course—pumpkins. Whether it's using them in your favorite pumpkin recipes or making a spooky jack-o'-lantern, they're a quintessential part of the Halloween spirit.

Unfortunately, with these pumpkins come scary consequences. Of the 1.4 billion pounds of pumpkin produced in the U.S. each year, the vast majority wind up in landfills. Since the landfill is deliberately sealed from the elements (specifically, oxygen), the pumpkins don’t decompose to fertilize plants and soil like they would in nature. Instead, they release methane, a gas that's more potent than carbon dioxide when it comes to global warming potential.

That's why reusing your leftover pumpkins is a much more planet-friendly option than tossing them in the trash. Here are some fun ideas to help you get started!

5 Ways to Reuse Pumpkins After Halloween

1. Make Recipes with the Pumpkin Flesh

The best thing about a pumpkin is that pretty much all of it is edible (as long as you make sure to get rid of any residual candle wax first). There's truly a pumpkin recipe for every meal!

Make a purée to use in pasta dishes and desserts, and boil the stringy guts in water to make a flavorful stock base for soup. If you have smaller pumpkins, you can cut them into little bowls, season them, and roast them.

2. Make Biodegradable Growing Trays 

Did you know you can use a pumpkin carcass as a growing tray? Just fill it up with some soil, plant the seeds you’d like to grow, and watch them sprout!

Once the seedlings are ready to be planted in your garden or in a pot, you can plant the entire pumpkin-carcass-seed-tray extravaganza into the soil. The pumpkin flesh will rot and give the soil much-needed nutrients!

3. Use the Seeds in Cookies, Guacamole, and More

If you're not eating the pumpkin seeds, you're missing out. There are so many creative ways to use them. Season and roast them, add them into granola and baked goods, or put them in your guac. Really, the (delicious) options are endless. (Grab some recipes here!)