Recycling Halloween: What to do with leftover costumes and pumpkins

Have fun recycling your pumpkin at these smashing events!

Nov. 6


Nov. 7


old pumpkin

To help you stay green in this season of orange and black, here are more ideas from Mother Nature Network on recycling your costumes and pumpkins when the season is over.

For used costumes, thrift stores and consignment shops come to mind, but also consider other organizations such as children’s hospitals, hospices and even schools. If you have costumes that your children have outgrown, donate them early so someone else can take advantage of them this season. Some parents even organize their own costume swaps.

 For your pumpkins, add a fall plant such as a hardy perennial mum using the carved pumpkin as a planter. It can last on your porch for a few more weeks, then plant the whole thing directly into the ground in your garden. The pumpkin will decompose and provide great nutrients for the soil. For a quick solution, let your children stomp and smash the pumpkin into small pieces, then put it in your compost bin or the corner of your garden covered with leaves. Add some dirt and water, and you’ve got your own compost for planting next year.

Pumpkins can also be used as food for animals. Be sure to remove any candle wax and chop the pumpkin into big pieces for local deer, or scatter the seeds in the yard for the squirrels and birds. Just make sure your pumpkin is still fresh and not moldy.

If you love eating roasted pumpkin seeds yourself, here are step-by-step instructions so you can roast them to perfection.