Halloween has been over for a while, and we are now cleaning up the decorations. But what can we do with the leftover pumpkins?
While it is easy to throw them away so that they end up in the landfill, the Nature Conservancy of Canada is offering up some eco-friendly options to discard that pumpkin.
The nature conservancy recommends contacting local farms, wildlife rehabilitation centres, or zoos as they can use the pumpkins for food and enrichment.
“Besides that, try to compost them yourself or try and take advantage of other local composting options that may be in the area,” said Andrew Holland with the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
The nature conservancy said what you shouldn’t do with that unwanted pumpkin is drop it off in a forest or natural area where wild animals can feed off it.
“Fundamentally, wildlife does not require additional food. So, when you add food to the wild there are ecosystems that can be damaged and can lead to habituated, problematic animals or populations because it can disproportionally benefit some species,” Holland said.
He added that animals congregating around unnatural food sources increase the risk the diseases being transmitted. If the pumpkin is dropped off near a roadway, it can also increase the risk of the animal getting struck by a vehicle, which puts both motorists and animals in danger.
Nature Conservancy of Canada director of science and stewardship Mhairi McFarlane wrote about the dangers of dropping your pumpkin off in the wild. You can read her blog post here.