Don't let your jack-o'-lantern go to waste this Halloween

(Photo by Anders Lagerås/Wikimedia Commons)

Millions of pounds of pumpkins are wasted each year during the Halloween season, which comes at a cost for the environment. Your jack-o'-lantern takes a lot of fertilizers and energy just to sit on your front porch for a few days. After Halloween this year, avoid food waste and consider other uses for your pumpkin instead of letting it waste away in a dump. Here are just a few ways to put your pumpkin to use this year. 

Make a pumpkin planter

A hollowed out pumpkin is a great gardening opportunity. Just fill your jack-o'-lantern with soil, add your plant of choice, and place the pumpkin in a hole in the ground.

The pumpkin will serve as a great fertilizing alternative for your plant and you will be composting at the same time. For more detailed advice on making a pumpkin planter of your own, look here.

Whole pumpkins

DIY face mask

Pumpkins are rich in vitamins, so why let them go to waste? Pumpkin face masks are simple to make and are great for your skin’s health.

To make your face mask all you need is just two tablespoons of pumpkin puree, half a tablespoon of milk, and half a tablespoon of honey. This mask is best suited for whole, uncarved pumpkins.

There are two options when making your puree. You can make a restaurant-ready puree and use the leftovers to make yourself a treat by following these directions. If you don’t have that kind of time, just scrape out the insides of your pumpkin (sans seeds) and beat it into a pulp.

Mix your three ingredients and then you are ready to enjoy all of the vitamins and antioxidants your mask has to offer.

Make a snack

If gardening or DIY cosmetics are not your thing, there are hundreds of pumpkin recipes available for every skill level. These recipes should be used with pumpkins that have been left whole.

Consider making some pumpkin pancakes. All it takes is your average pancake recipe, just add some pumpkin puree — you can even use leftovers from your face mask. A recipe can be found here.

If you are looking for a more savory snack, roasted pumpkin seeds are a simple option as well. Just add some salt, butter, and cinnamon to your pumpkin seeds and put them in the oven for about an hour. Real Simple’s recipe goes into more detail here.

(Photo by VeganBaking.net/Wikimedia Commons)

 
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