Sustainable Living

ZeroWaste: Ways to Reuse Pumpkins After Halloween

November 1, 2018

So you celebrated Halloween and carved pumpkins, but now that Halloween is over the pumpkins begin to flop and their once spooky faces are looking a little lopsided. It seems a waste to chuck it in the trash bin, so here’s a few alternative things you can do with old halloween pumpkins.


If your pumpkin is already a little on the iffy side- it’s started to decompose or is getting a little moldy after a week or two outdoors, here are some alternatives to sending our dear Halloween pumpkins unnecessarily into the trash.

Feed the Wildlife: Create a bird feeder by cutting the pumpkin in half and add leftover seeds. Or place pieces of the pumpkin in the woods for other wildlife like deer to enjoy.

Compost it!: If you have a compost bin, add the pumpkin and all it’s guts to the mix. The compost can later be used as a rich fertilizer for your garden or for plants and flowers. (This can be done after having created a bird feeder as well. Whatever is left –> compost!)

Plant Seeds: Save the pumpkin seeds and plant them in order to grow your own pumpkins for the next Halloween. Pumpkins do well in sunny and spacious areas, so if you live in the countryside or have an urban rooftop garden this could be an option!

Make a Flower Planter: Use the pumpkin as a pot for an outdoor plant or flower. Line pumpkin with a compostable paper and fill with soil. Finally add your flower/plant. This decorative pot will last another week or so as is and then can be planted directly into the ground: pumpkin and all! The pumpkin will give nutrients to the plant and the soil as it grows.


As long as the pumpkin is in good shape and isn’t at all moldy or already composting, you can create a puree intended for cosmetic use.  In order to make a pumpkin puree: cut pumpkin in half, place open-side down and bake for 25 minutes or until soft. Spoon out the pulp and blend in a food processor. Now you’re ready to get rolling.

Hair mask: pumpkin puree,  2 spoonfuls of coconut oil and honey to help split ends. Apply mixture to dry hair and leave on for 30 minutes. Rinse.

Face mask for Oily Skin: pumpkin puree, turmeric powder, honey. For oily and acne prone skin. Leave on for 5 minutes. Rinse

Rejuvenating Face mask: mush a piece of pumpkin, 1/4 of a banana, honey and lemon juice together Leave for 10 minutes and rinse.

Body Scrub: pumpkin puree, coconut/jojoba oil, leftover coffee grounds and Himalaya salt. Mix together and create a scrub for soft skin.

It’s all about eliminating a little bit of waste at a time. All of those Halloween pumpkins don’t have to go into our trash bin, but can be repurposed for a more sustainable Halloween.

Have any other ways to recycle/reuse those fun Jack-O-Lanterns after carving? If so, please share in the comment section!

Author: Ali @ Sustainable Psyche

My name is Ali. I am an American living in Italy. I am passionate about delicious food that is also ethical, healthy and sustainable. I love pasta and pizza, traveling, horseback riding and exploring the vibrant city of Milan that I call home.


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