Sustainable Halloween habits with pumpkins!

Pumpkin scarecrows sitting in front of a yard. Photo credit: Pxhere

By: Thu Nguyen 

SAN JOSE, CALIF. – Celebrate a greener Halloween this year with eco-friendly practices to utilize your leftover pumpkins after the spooky season has passed. 

Halloween is a holiday that is celebrated worldwide with 31 known participating countries. Otherwise known as All Hallows Eve or All Saints’ Eve, the notable celebration takes place on the last day of October. A stable decoration that completes this feast are eerily carved pumpkins. The famous jack-o’-lanterns dominate neighborhoods far and wide. 

However, when the 24-hour passes into Nov. 1, these once cherished vegetables are thrown into garbage bins. According to the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce, 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins are produced in the U.S. every year, yet most of them end up in landfills. When the fruit decomposes in mass proportions, they emit a tremendous amount of methane gas. The UN Environment reports that this chemical compound is an influential contributor to greenhouse gas emissions – 80 times more potent to global warming than even carbon dioxide.  

The following methods will help solve your dilemma of leftover pumpkin and help you contribute less to environmental degradation in the process: 

  1. Soil enrichment. Your carved jack-o’-lantern has likely been exposed to the outside environment, from critters to bacteria. It’s best to reuse them in a way that does not involve consumption. You can cut them up into smaller quarters for the compost pile or bury them right into your garden bed for an extra boost of nitrogen and moisture. Malika Singh, a senior at Silver Creek, emphasizes her opinion on the matter, “I personally find composting a very easy task that can be done in anyone’s backyard.”
  1. Scarecrow competition. An artistic way of going about for fall decorations is to simply reuse your gourds from Halloween. Indulge in a friendly scarecrow-making competition and reuse the jack-o’-lantern pumpkins as faces for the straw figures. Use your imagination to devise a clever outfit for your moon-faced scarecrow. 
  1. Trick or treat for wildlife. Your leftover Halloween pumpkin may serve as a delectable treat for the wildlife residents in your community. Pumpkins are a safe, tasty, and nourishing snack for the critters to eat, given that they aren’t coated in any paint. Pumpkin seeds make a very delicious nibble for birds. Leave the dried seeds scattered around outside or in a bird feeder for your feathered friends to enjoy. Your local squirrels, foxes, and other furry creatures can devour the orange flesh. 

Halloween is, without a doubt, the superior holiday of all feasts. For the next generation to experience the joy of it, we must be mindful of our impact on the environment during the thunder of it all. Being conscious of your carbon footprint will leave the successors with plenty of pumpkins to enjoy. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s