Pumpkins were destined for so much more than just being hollowed out and then thrown away, they are so versatile and delicious! But even once you've eaten as much of it as you can, the remains shouldn't go in your normal bin. 

When food waste is sent to landfill, it can't decompose properly, and ends up producing a gas called methane, which is a greenhouse gas over 20 times worse than carbon dioxide! If you've picked up a pumpkin for Halloween this year, check out these ideas. 

1) Compost Your Pumpkin  

Pumpkins are organic material and if composted will give up their gourd-y goodness, making wonderful rich compost to help whatever grows next in your garden rise from the bed or vegetable patch.  

Don’t have a garden? It can go in a food waste caddy if cut up. Otherwise, see if your local area is running a pumpkin drop-off, or if local gardens or allotments are keen to take them in.  

2) Feed it to wildlife  

Pumpkins aren’t just nutritious and delicious for humans, but animals too! Foxes, badgers, squirrels and hedgehogs are all happy to munch on a pumpkin. Cut up leftover pumpkin into chunks to make a snack o’lantern for passing wildlife. Pets such as chickens and pigs will chow down tooHowever if the pumpkin is getting mouldy, it’s best given over to bugs or the compost heap... 

Birds love seeds, and pumpkins are no exception! Save up the seeds while carving, dry them in the oven at 180C/gas 4 for about ten minutes then add them to your bird feeder. 

If you want a crafty project, try transforming your pumpkin into a bird feeder with this guide from the Simple Things. 

3) Put down the knife 

Making a pumpkin lantern isn’t a tradition that has to be carved in stone! Cutting up a pumpkin, as well as being time-consuming and dangerous for small children, exposes the pumpkin to the air which speeds up decomposition. Keep your pumpkin fresher for longer by opting for no-carve decoration.  

Turn little pumpkins into a family of owls by sticking on felt circles for eyes, a felt triangle for a beak and yellow pipe cleaners underneath for claws. 

Or turn a pumpkin into a wacky face by using your squash as a collage canvas with cut out eyes, noses, mouths and ears from magazines and newspapers. If you have props like spare glasses or Mr. Potato head features, these can also be stuck on to make a Mr.Pumpkin Head! 

4) Eat your pumpkin 

We might have mentioned it before, but you can and should gorge yourself on gourds! Pumpkins contain vitamins E, C and some vitamin B, as well beta-carotene (which gives pumpkins their orange colour) that makes up vitamin A.  

When carving your Halloween lantern, everything from skin to seeds can be put aside to cook. If you’re unsure about eating different gourd varieties, try this guide on how to best polish off your pumpkin.

Here's our treasure trove of recipes to transform your pumpkin from decoration to delicious.

5) Drink your pumpkin 

Get all those vitamins and minerals but slurp them down instead! Squeeze the goodness from your squash in a classic pumpkin soup, or go sweet with a pumpkin-pie smoothie.

Feeling the sweater weather? Take a toasty pumpkin-spiced latte using real pumpkin puree with you in a flask on an autumn walk, or share a glass of pumpkin mulled wine while feeling cosy and warm.