jack-o-lanterns, decor, homemade pies--there are no shortage of ways to use pumpkins during the autumn months. 

but when the carefully carved faces start to wilt, it's way too easy to toss them in the trash without a thought. 

need some eco inspo? here's our six favorite ways to keep halloween pumpkins out of the landfill. 

1) compost them. if you're already a seasoned composter, then this isn't a fresh idea for you, but you don't have to have a fancy bin or experience to reap the benefits. first, remove all candles & guts. Then you can smash it up (demo day, anyone?) bury in your garden or spot in your yard with minimal traffic or just cover with leaves. let the worms dig in--you'll have more nourished soil in return!

2) pumpkin bird feeder. you can put a trick-or-treat bowl out for your resident birdies by cutting a pumpkin in half and filling it with bird seed. you can hang it off of your patio or a tree by cradling it with rope!

3) all-natural planter. an uncarved pumpkin is the perfect place to plant some seasonal flowers, like mums. just remove the top & the guts before adding potting soil. when it starts to decay, you can dig a hole and bury it in the ground, pumpkin and all! just like composting, the pumpkin will nourish your plant as it decays. 

4) make your backyard critter's day by cutting your pumpkins up into pieces & placing them in your yard. this isn't recommended if you have dogs or if you're in an area with lots of bear traffic, but if you can put them out, you're giving mammals a very nutritious treat before the tough season of winter is officially upon us.

5) donate them to a local organization. pigs eating pumpkins, could it BE any cuter?! do a quick google search to see if there are any organizations in your area that accept pumpkin donations, which make perfect livestock treats! head over to pumpkinsforpigs.org to see if there's a location accepting donations near you, or feel free to reach out to a local farm. 

6) add to your leaf collection waste. many cities, like madison, wi, have started to accept pumpkins alongside other yard waste. if pick-up is unavailable in your area, you can always visit a nearby drop-off facility. this isn't the best option, as only very few cities use this for compost, but it beats the landfill! 

any ideas we might have missed? let us know below! 

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