Halloween will soon be behind us. Which means it is time to bid farewell to your buddy Jack. While carving Jack O’Lanterns is a fun tradition, disposing of your pumpkin pal is less exciting. Or is is?
Pumpkin Spice Compost
Sure, tossing your pumpkin in with household waste is always an option, but there is a better way to put your pumpkin out to pasture. Skip the trash and toss your pumpkin in a compost bin instead. Simply remove any candles and inorganic decorations and your pumpkin is ready to compost. If you did not hollow out your pumpkin, be sure to remove all the pumpkin seeds before composting or you may end up growing a pumpkin patch in your compost bin.
Bury Your Pumpkin
Don’t have a compost bin? You can always bury your pumpkin instead. Simply dig a shallow hole, place your pumpkin inside, cover it up with dirt and let nature take its course. As the pumpkin decomposes, it will enrich the soil, which is great for the flowers and plants in your garden. Just like composting, be sure to remove the seeds first.
What About the Seeds?
This one is for the bird, literally. Birds like pumpkin seeds. Consider letting the seeds dry then adding your discarded seeds in your bird feeder instead of tossing them in the trash. Your feathered friends will thank you.
Have a Clean, Green Halloween
Composting your pumpkin is just one of many ways you can have a more environmentally friendly Halloween. Here are a few more tips to keep your holiday eco-friendly.
Don’t toss costumes in the trash. Host a costume exchange with friends and neighbors. After the costume trading is done, toss any extras in a bin and donate them to a local nonprofit. They can be used for next year, kept as dress-up items or reused for other themed events throughout the year.
Use Reusable or Recyclable Bags
Skip the single use plastic bag and opt for canvas, cloth or paper bags. Pillowcases are a great, durable option. If you do buy a plastic trick-or-treating pale, choose something that can be reused year after year.
Avoid Palm Oil
When purchasing candy for Trick-or-Treaters, remember to avoid candy with palm oil or opt for sustainable palm oil. Palm oil farms and harvesting are one of the biggest threats to rain forests and their inhabitants, including orangutans. Download the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping app for Android or Apple devices to help pick out orangutan-friendly candy this year.
Keep it Clean
Candy wrappers are a big source of litter around Halloween. Be sure to dispose of candy wrappers in trash bins where they won’t blow away and end up in the street or a neighbors yard. If you see wrappers on the ground, help Mother Nature out and toss them in the trash where they belong.