DENVER -- As soon as the clock struck past midnight the night of Oct. 31, many (at least on social media) took it as a sign that it was now time to dismantle all the spooky decorations and replace them with blinking lights, garland and Christmas wreaths.
If you too are preparing for the next round of holiday celebrations, you may want to stop what you're doing and check out these helpful tips so your Halloween pumpkin doesn't go to waste.
1. Compost your pumpkin
Instead of just throwing your pumpkin to the trash, why not give it back to Mother Earth? Pumpkins are 90 percent, so they'll decompose quickly -- just make sure to remove the seeds before adding your pumpkin to the compost pile.
If you don't have a compost pile, check out Denver's compost collection program.
2. Make a snack-o-lantern for the birds
3. Remove the seeds and give them to wildlife
Large birds and small mammals will eat pumpkin seeds, according to the National Wildlife Federation's blog. Just make sure to let them dry -- but please don't add seasoning.
4. If you're not in the sharing mood, eat the seeds yourself
"Pumpkins store a salty, nutty treat in their depths," so says a writer for Wide Open Country. Toss the seeds with some olive oil, sprinkle some salt on them and put them in the oven for about 30 minutes at 300 degrees.
5. Start preparing for Thanksgiving
Don't buy the canned stuff -- go homemade! With Thanksgiving around the corner, you may want to use as many resources as you can so you don't get a last-minute headache when going to the store.
Learn how to make pumpkin puree in the tutorial below:
6. ...Or turn the pumpkins into house decorations for the holidays
Place your uncut pumpkins on an end or center table and surround them with some scented candles and voilà! Want some other ideas?
Watch this "pumpkin candle" tutorial below:
7. Plant your pumpkin seeds
"The squash bee is one of many insects to pollinate pumpkin flowers. If you have room in your yard, you can save seeds for a harvest of pumpkins next year," says a blogger with the National Wildlife Federation.
So there you have it. These are just some of the ideas you can use to save those Halloween pumpkins from goingto the trash.