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You might have noticed pumpkins in the gutters or on garbage cans now that Halloween is over. All of that will end up in the landfill, where it will become methane. Methane is more potent than carbon dioxide, and it can heat the atmosphere much faster.
“Driving around after Halloween, you see people with pumpkins on top of their garbage cans. All of that will go to a landfill and become methane gas,” says Kay McKeen, the executive director at SCARCE, an environmental education organization based in Illinois, told National Geographic.
In 2014, McKeen and her SCARCE colleagues started Pumpkin Smash. At Pumpkin Smash, residents can bring their rotting pumpkins to 69 different locations, where they will be sent off to compost bins. They calculate they have saved 538 tons of pumpkin from the landfill.
“It puts nutrients back in our soil, it saves water, it doesn’t make methane gas—it’s just a win-win,” says McKeen.
This is an amazing idea, but unfortunately, most places don’t have programs like this. So what should you be doing with your pumpkin once it’s carved? Well, first off, it is edible. Find some pumpkin recipes and get going. Check out these One Green Planet pumpkin recipes:
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Bread
- Thai Pumpkin Soup With Peanut Butter Roasted Chickpeas
- Grain-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies
- Curried Pumpkin and Chickpea Burgers
Read more One Green Planet news about Halloween waste.
- 7 Fun Ways to Decorate with Pumpkins this Autumn Without Waste
- Millions of Pumpkins are Wasted During Halloween
- Halloween Done Sustainably: How to Cut Down on Packaging, Waste, and Woe
- How to Decorate for Fall Without Wasting Pumpkins
Easy Ways to Help the Planet:
- Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based Recipe app on the App Store to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
- Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take the initiative by standing up against fast fashion Pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that are raising awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
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- Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, Donate if you can, grow your own food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!