Normally smashing pumpkins is reserved for hooligans on Halloween or Billy Corgan, but this year the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) is telling all New Yorkers why they should get out the baseball bats (or heavy-soled boots) and start crunching.

This year was tough for jack-o'-lantern lovers. The extra-warm weekend before Halloween meant that the pumpkins would rot much sooner than usual, and the rain that seemed to never stop falling in October only added to the frustration. While these could both be reasons to take anger out on your favorite gourd, the DEC is recommending pumpkin smashing for an entirely different reason.

The NY DEC is telling New Yorkers to smash their Halloween pumpkins (davemantel via Canva)
The NY DEC is telling New Yorkers to smash their Halloween pumpkins (davemantel via Canva)
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New York DEC: Smash Your Pumpkins

The DEC's message about pumpkin demolition has nothing to do with property damage and everything to do with disposing biodegradable materials in the best (and most fun) way possible. Finally, there's a real reason to reenact everyone's favorite scene from Office Space. From the NYS DEC:

Instead of haunting our landfills with pumpkins and other fall gourds, try composting! Smash up any pumpkin rinds and guts before mixing them into your backyard pile with plenty of carbon sources (leaves, wood chips, twigs, etc.).

Pumpkin Smashing Advice from New York DEC

Before the destruction begins, the DEC advises pumpkin-smashers to make sure their jack-o'-lanterns are free of any leftover candle wax or extra decorations like paint or glitter. Pumpkin seeds, if not already removed, should also be scooped out to avoid your compost pile turning into next year's pumpkin patch.
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Just spitballing here, but introducing a baseball bat to every household's composting routine may help spike participation. After all, pumpkins aren't the only vegetation that could do with a good pounding. Rotten apple? Smash! Sour grapes? SMASH! Let's make this planet a more sustainable place to live, one bat-stroke at a time. Check out some (nearly) un-smashable carving below, and keep scrolling for some fantastic pumpkin seed recipes.

The Incredible Carvings of the World Famous "Pumpkin Gutter"

You've probably seen him on the Food Network, or perhaps you saw his photos in Ripley's Believe It or Not, SW Oklahoma native Scott Cummins is world-renowned for his amazing ability to carve pumpkins.

He carves other things too... Canalope, watermelon, the occasional cordog or two, but he's mostly known for his pumpkins. An artist to the core, Scott truly has an eye (and the skills) to find amazing creations in everything he touches.

Gallery Credit: Kelso

5 of the Best Pumpkin Seed Recipes

What better way to indulge in the seasonal spirit than by exploring the endless possibilities of pumpkin seeds? From sweet to savory, these recipes are bound to take your taste buds on a delightful journey through the heartwarming essence of fall.

Gallery Credit: Getty Images/ Canva