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article imageIs this a trick? Feds say pumpkins contribute to global warming

By Karen Graham     Oct 29, 2015 in Environment
Did you know that those scary-looking jack-o-lanterns on people's front stoops are dangerous? The Energy Department says those carved pumpkins will come back to haunt us as they lay rotting on some landfill after they are thrown out after the holiday.
Talk about putting a dent in a holiday celebration! Halloween without the jagged-toothed grin of a jack-o-lantern is just not right, somehow. But that pumpkin may be scarier than most people think says the U.S. Energy Department.
According to the Energy Department's website, pumpkins contribute to global warming by decomposing into a harmful greenhouse gas called methane, with 20 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide. And while the Energy Department does not say everyone should refrain from buying a pumpkin for Halloween, they do offer an alternative for disposing of those scary jack-o-lanterns.
More than 254 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) are already being produced in the United States every year, says the Energy Department. This MSW eventually decomposes, turning into methane gas.
However, MTV says the agency says we can harness this gas, using it for bioenergy rather than simply letting it waft into the atmosphere.
Fox News reports, the Energy Department is already working with several industries to develop and test "biorefineries, capable of efficiently converting plant and waste material into affordable biofuels, biopower, and other products.” The website adds, "It might not be long until the 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins we produce annually are nearly as important to our energy security as they are to Halloween!"
A scary jack-o-lantern.
A scary jack-o-lantern.
Some Energy-themed ideas for Halloween
The Energy Department is adding an incentive for the kids this month because October is National Energy Action Month. On their website, there is a page with some neat patterns for carving on your pumpkins, and they would like to have everyone share pictures
“We also put together some energy-themed pumpkin patterns to help 'energize' your neighborhood for Halloween,” the department’s website says. “Send us photos of your energy-themed jack-o-lanterns via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or email at, and we'll share our favorites." Go to this website to download patterns.
Before anyone thinks the government is down on pumpkins, remember that after all, it is Halloween, folks. And the Energy Department just wants us to look at the bigger picture, and really, don't you think making use of used pumpkins, along with our other garbage, as a biofuel is a pretty good idea?
More about jackolanterns, Global warming, US Energy Department, municipal waste, Methane
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