What to do with all those pumpkin guts (Hint: Do not flush)

The terrifying truth about carving pumpkins, and dealing with Halloween’s unexpected water waste.

October 21, 2019 | By: Jimmy Luthye

Fact: Fall is the best season, October is the best month in the best season, and Halloween is the best holiday in the best month in the best season.

Can you tell I love Halloween? Also, pumpkins. I love carving them. I love their exuberant glow on a chilly fall night. I love the dream pumpkin-cat combo.

Moose the cat sticks his head out of a pumpkin on National Pumpkin Day
Exhibit A: A cat named Moose in a pumpkin makes any day better. Photo credit: Denver Water.

But to all my fellow pumpkin carvers out there, did you know the goopy mess inside those exquisite orange gourds can lead to wasted water?

It’s true.

Plumbing experts say a lot of folks run pumpkin pulp and seeds through garbage disposals or flush them down toilets, which leads to clogs and unnecessary water waste.


In the spirit of the best season, I’ve thrown together a tidy list of five suggestions to consider in case pumpkin gunk has you stumped. Thank me later.

  1. Compost. Sure, you can simply toss the innards of the ol’ gourd in the trash, but consider composting instead. It’s perfect for your springtime garden!
  2. Make a pumpkin planter. What’s better than a pumpkin? A pumpkin with pretty plants in it, naturally.
  3. Eat it. From toasted seeds to risotto to pumpkin butter, delicious options abound!
  4. Wear it. Jewelry is good. People like jewelry.
  5. Fling it at your enemies! OK, don’t do this. I really just needed a fifth suggestion.

Thirsting for more? Here’s a list of 28 way more specific things you can do with pumpkins, and their guts.

So keep the goop out of your pipes and have yourself a glorious National Pumpkin Day, Halloween and autumn!

Cats and pumpkins

Contributing: Kim Unger, Steve Snyder and Dave Gaylinn.

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