Americans throw out, on average, more than 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins each year.
How scary is that?
Most people think that when they throw food in the trash it simply decomposes. That's true, but the food decomposes in a landfill and releases methane, a greenhouse gas that's 87 times more potent that carbon dioxide.
So our number #1 tip for a greener Halloween is to compost your Jack-o-Lantern.
Some communities, my like my hometown of Bozeman, Montana, offer a pumpkin smash. Our local curbside composting Happy Trashcan Composting company urges you to bring your rotting, days old jack-o-lanterns and "Smash It, Not Trash It." You can smash your decaying pumpkin and then watch it going into the compost. It's fun for the whole family.
You can also bake your pumpkin seeds or let the pumpkin decompose in your garden. You can even use the pumpkin from in jack-o-lantern in a pumpkin pie, or use pumpkin puree in this pumpkin spice latte recipe.
Check out our post on instagram from some key tips for a greener Halloween when it comes to candy, decorations, and costumes:
Ideas on a How to Green Your Halloween Based on Service Superpower:
Adventurers: Host your own pumpkin smash in local park or in your backyard to fill your local or home compost bin.
Beacons: Research your chocolate and choose a more ethical brand. Find out who makes it and how it's made with the The Chocolate Scorecard.
Influencers: Visit your favorite thrift store and challenge your friends to create a sustainable costume for less than $5 or "shop your closet" for an inspired item.
Philanthropists: Choose candies that are wrapped in foil or in cardboard boxes (like junior mints or milk duds). Donate your leftover candies to a food bank or the nonprofit Treats for Troops.
Sparks: Commit to a plastic-free Halloween. Encourage your friends and family to ditch plastic and paper and use real plates, cloth napkins, and make homemade costumes.
Sages: Join the OneGreenThing "All Souls Day" campaign and pledge to be an awesome ancestor in honor of someone you love.
Wonks: Read this article about food waste and talk to family and friends and being mindful about the treats they buy and they food they eat.
Heather White is the founder of OneGreenThing. She's a Philanthropist-Wonk and is the author of One Green Thing: Discover Your Hidden Power to Help Save the Planet. Heather writes about eco-anxiety, green living, and climate action from her hometown of Bozeman, Montana.