A Plethora of Pumpkin Projects
Pumpkins seem to have one set fate; rotting on a house porch. In 2014, the US Department of Agriculture estimated 1.91 billion pounds of pumpkins were deposited in landfills. Not only is this a waste of produce but it also has some serious negative environmental effects as decaying pumpkins left in a landfill generate methane gas, a large contributor to global warming. Try some of these fun projects you can do with a few simple ingredients rather than letting your pumpkin rot on your porch.
Apart from roasted pumpkin seeds, other amazing recipes call for pumpkins too. Pumpkin chips are a simple, healthy snack that can be made in minutes. Adding spices can turn these chips into spicy dip chips or sweet brown sugar dessert chips. For a dessert try making a pumpkin roll or braided pumpkin bread to impress guests and add a sweet note to gatherings.
Even if your meal doesn’t have pumpkin in it, you can still add it to your dinner by making a decorative bowl perfect for the fall season to serve soup in or use as a centerpiece.
Gardening & Nature
Saving a couple of seeds and using them to grow your own pumpkins for the next fall season is incredibly sustainable. Just be sure that you are using non GMO or hybrid pumpkins or else the seeds will not grow properly. You could also take this opportunity to visit your local farm and purchase from them. If you’ve accidentally let your jack-o-lantern rot on the porch, use it as a potter for another plant in your garden. This will allow your pumpkin to naturally decay and give your soil extra nutrients for future plants. You could also collect the seeds and leave them out for birds and other animals to feed on. Set up a hidden camera and see what kind of animals are around for added fun.
Health & Beauty
In addition to food and decorative purposes, pumpkins can be used to revitalize and enhance your health and beauty. For example, you can use parts of the pumpkin to make a facemask. Pumpkin is high in vitamin E, which protects skin from aging, inflammation, and and sun damage. Zinc found in the seeds of pumpkins is also great for regulating hormone levels and oil production which can help treat acne and enhance your skin.
If you just can’t stand looking at your pumpkin anymore and you have to get rid of it- COMPOST IT! Pumpkins require a lot of water and sunlight to grow and their nutrients can be reused for fertilizers which would be very beneficial to your garden soil and plants in the future. If you can not compost at your home, consider dropping off your pumpkins to one of two gardens managed by Keep Phoenix Beautiful, located at 1822 W Pierson St, Phoenix and 9901 7th Ave, Phoenix.
If you have a compost pickup service from Recycled City, you can simply add your pumpkin to your container to be hauled off and turned into soil.