The Great Pumpkin Waste: How to Use Them, Not Lose Them

Every fall, pumpkins take center stage. From pumpkin spice lattes to jack-o’-lanterns, these orange gourds are a staple of the season. However, what many people don’t realize is the staggering amount of pumpkin waste that occurs each year. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, over 1 billion pounds of pumpkins are produced annually, and a significant portion ends up in landfills. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are plenty of creative and sustainable ways to use pumpkins, reducing waste and benefiting your household in the process. For more insights into sustainable living, check out our Eco-Friendly Tips on

The Great Pumpkin Waste: How to Use Them, Not Lose Them

The Environmental Impact

The environmental cost of pumpkin waste is more than just the space it takes up in landfills. When organic matter like pumpkins decomposes in a landfill, it produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. By finding alternative uses for your pumpkins, you’re not just reducing waste; you’re also doing your part to combat global warming.

Pumpkin Puree

One of the most straightforward ways to use a pumpkin is to make pumpkin puree.


  • Pumpkin
  • Water


  1. Cut the pumpkin into chunks.
  2. Remove the seeds and skin.
  3. Boil the chunks until tender.
  4. Blend until smooth.

Pumpkin Seeds

Don’t throw away those seeds! Pumpkin seeds are not only edible but also packed with nutrients like magnesium and zinc.


  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Salt


  1. Remove seeds from the pumpkin and rinse.
  2. Toss with olive oil and salt.
  3. Roast in the oven until crispy.


If your pumpkin is too far gone to be used in cooking, consider composting it. Pumpkins are rich in nutrients that can enrich your soil. Just be sure to remove any candles or synthetic decorations before composting.

Pumpkin Crafts

For those who are crafty, pumpkins offer a plethora of DIY opportunities. From pumpkin vases to pumpkin bird feeders, the possibilities are endless.


If you find yourself with more pumpkins than you can use, consider donating them. Many farms and community gardens will gladly accept pumpkins for composting or animal feed.

By being mindful of how we use our pumpkins, we can significantly reduce waste and its associated environmental impact. So this fall, instead of tossing that pumpkin, think of how you can repurpose it.

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