It’s that time of the year again. Families hang up spooky decorations around their houses. Kids run around in their costumes collecting candy. Pumpkin carvings are everywhere. It’s Halloween.
Every year as this time rolls around, people go pumpkin picking to find the perfect pumpkin to use for a jack-o-lantern. However, once Halloween is over, all these pumpkins are thrown away. This directly contributes to the growing problem of climate change.
Over one billion pumpkins are left to rot in landfills each year in only the United States, and for every 100 pounds, 8.3 pounds of methane are released. Methane makes up 20% of global emissions, and while carbon dioxide is more abundant than methane, methane also traps more heat than carbon dioxide.
People across America are taking it into their own hands to tackle this problem. For instance, in New York City, a pumpkin-smashing contest was held. This event brought over 500 people together and broke down a thousand pounds of organic waste. This event has been held as a tradition in other places like Chicago and Boston.
This Halloween season, there are also ways that you can be more eco-friendly as an individual. Instead of throwing the pumpkins away, use them to make food, like pumpkin pie or bread. In addition, some local farmers accept pumpkins for donation. Another idea is to use the pumpkin seeds to grow more pumpkins for next year, or even compost your old pumpkin.
While jack-o-lanterns are not the leading cause of climate change, small steps to make our lifestyle eco-friendly can snowball and have a huge impact. This Halloween season, let’s make the only things that are rotten our witch costumes!