Every year, more than 750,000 tons of pumpkins are produced in the U.S. alone. From Jack-o-lanterns to overrated lattes, this big orange fruit (yes, it’s a fruit, look it up) has become a huge part of our yearly celebrations and seasonal festivities. But what happens after the candy has been handed out and the leaves have fallen from the trees?
Unfortunately, most of these pumpkins are destined to end up in landfills, where they will release significant amounts of methane into our atmosphere. This greenhouse gas is 20 times more detrimental to the environment than carbon dioxide, making the improper disposal of our favorite fall fruit a climate disaster.
But it’s not just pumpkins that cause these issues. In fact, eight percent of greenhouse gas emissions can be directly attributed to food waste. That’s more than the airline industry, and it’s more than a small issue. Fortunately, a solution already exists.
Composting is defined by the US Environmental Protection Agency as a controlled, aerobic (oxygen-required) process that converts organic materials into a nutrient-rich soil amendment or mulch through natural decomposition. Essentially, it ensures that waste is put back into the world in a way that helps rather than harms. Visit their website to learn more about how you can do this in your own home.
With $10 billion expected to be spent on Halloween-related transactions in America this year, there are going to be plenty of pumpkins that need to be discarded. That figure is an order of magnitude more than the estimated national investment in composting infrastructure, which means there’s some catching up to do.
That’s why Minnesota United is once again collecting pumpkins at the Black and Blue Team Store at Allianz Field. From November 1 to November 4, between noon and 6:00 p.m., you can bring your used-up pumpkins to the stadium, where team staff will take care of the rest. All collected pumpkins will be composted and disposed of in a sustainable way, skipping the landfill altogether.
But that’s not all! Each person who brings a pumpkin will receive a 10% discount on a team store purchase. The discount applies to full-priced items only and must be used on the same day. If you’ve had your eye on a piece of Loons gear and you need to find a way to properly dispose of your pumpkin, why not feed two birds with one pumpkin and snag some swag while you help save the environment at the same time?