Play-it-again pumpkin

Recycle Jack o’lanterns in a variety of ways

Halloween will be here and gone before you know it. Your trusty, glowing Jack o’lantern has served you well, greeting passersby and visitors with his crooked smile from your front porch for days—or maybe weeks—and even scaring a few trick-or-treaters. Don’t just throw Jack in the garbage on Nov. 1—thank him for his excellent service by recycling him.

• Turn him into food: Peel, chop and cook him into a pumpkin pie, or make mashed pumpkin as a substitute for mashed potatoes with your dinner. Roast the seeds in the oven and salt them for a tasty snack.

• Turn him into compost: If you don’t want to eat your pumpkin, or if Jack is rotting, break him into pieces and mix him into your compost pile. The seeds might even come up as volunteer pumpkin vines, producing a whole new crop for next Halloween.

• Feed him to the birds: Scatter Jack’s seeds in your yard or put them in a feeder for birds and squirrels.