Whether you carved them, painted them, or just sat them outside, you might feel it is time to toss your pumpkins in the trash. There are some alternatives for your pumpkins that are more productive and environmentally friendly. Pumpkins make great additions to your compost pile. Split your pumpkins into chunks and add them to your compost. If your pumpkins are carved and seeds removed, you will not have to worry about pumpkins sprouting from your compost. If compost reaches a high enough temperature, the seeds will not grow. If you did not remove your seeds, you can potentially end up with pumpkin sprouts next year. Household diluted bleach treated pumpkins are ok to add to your compost. Wash off any paint before adding to the compost. Pumpkin seeds make for a healthy snack if you haven’t removed them prior.
As pumpkins break down, they attract all sorts of wildlife. For those who want to attract wildlife, leaving pumpkins in an area of your yard will bring in wildlife, including moose. If you want to avoid attracting wildlife, remove the pumpkins from your area. If you treat your pumpkins with a household product with diluted bleach, the chemicals typically degrade enough in sunlight to be safe in small amounts. However if you are treating your pumpkins with pure, non-diluted bleach, then it would be best to not feed them to wildlife. For those who paint pumpkins, scrub it off before feeding it to animals. If live in an area where you do not have wildlife, you can donate your pumpkins to local zoos, farms, and other animal sanctuaries. Pumpkins are a tasty treat for many animals. A final suggestion for animal feeding would be to cut a hole in your pumpkin and suspend it from a tree branch to make a bird feeder/temporary shelter.