Fall Fun Without the Filth

A cornucopia – an overfilling horn of plenty – is an enduring symbol of Autumn, representing the bounty of harvest. Excess, however, can lead to waste which is often discarded, threatening the watersheds. Learn to enjoy all the fun of Autumn – colorful gourds, pretty chrysanthemums, Fall foliage and a Thanksgiving feast – without contributing to watershed pollution with these seasonal suggestions.

Smashing Pumpkins

Leftover Halloween Jack-o-lanterns are a great addition to improve soil in your garden or lawn. Add to your compost pile or, if you don’t have one, simply dig a hole for Jack. Follow these instructions for best results:

  • Remove candles or any other lights used inside.
  • Clean out any remaining seeds or you may end up with your own pumpkin patch next year!
  • Smash into smaller pieces. It’s not actually necessary but it sure is fun.
  • Add those miniature white pumpkins or other decorative gourds when the December decorations come out.

Don’t Leave Out Leaves

All those fallen leaves raked into a pile are a magnet to small children who are eager to jump in! The raking is good exercise; the bouncing in the leaves is, too. The crackle of fresh leaves amid the laughter of youthful joy will create great memories with your kids or grand-kids. When the merriment is over, add those leaves to the compost pile to provides the carbon needed for healthy soil. Composting leaves means they don’t end up clogging storm drains or the watershed.

Whittle Out Waste

Cooking a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings may be an overwhelming task but dealing with food waste from your holiday feast doesn’t have to be. As you wield the paring knife, throw potato peels, green bean ends, onion skins and apple cores into the compost pile, not the trash. These leftover bits will add nitrogen for a thriving soil addition. To reduce waste while cooking and keep it out of the landfill and watershed, follow these simple instructions to compost:

  • Keep a large mixing bowl on the counter for cut off ends and peelings as you prep the meal.
  • Separate vegetable end pieces and peels that can be reused to create homemade vegetable stock later.
  • Reconsider peeling root vegetables like beets, carrots and potatoes. Once these vegetables are cooked, you might not notice the “flaws” you usually peel away.
  • Do not add any meat or dairy scraps.
  • Combine food waste with used paper towels and cardboard food mix boxes before tossing into compost pile.

Check out this article for more tips on dealing with waste from the Thanksgiving feast.

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