WASHINGTON, D.C. (Christian Examiner) – The U.S. Department of Energy revealed a scary fact about pumpkins—after Halloween, they add to the 254 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) produced in the country each year.
Landfills, which are where almost all jack-o'-lanterns wind up, produce methane, a greenhouse gas that has more than 20 times the global warming effect of carbon dioxide, the Energy Department says.
"However," the Energy Department said, "when MSW is used to harness bioenergy—rather than simply being thrown away—the end result benefits the environment and helps our nation become less dependent on carbon-based fuel."
Imagine a pumpkin carving party that also contributed to the national supply of clean energy. That's something to celebrate!
BIOFUEL AND GREEN ENERGY
The Energy Department hopes to develop integrated biorefineries, which are facilities that convert waste like pumpkins into biofuels and biopower.
Two biorefineries are planned: one to produce jet fuel and diesel fuel and another to produce upgraded oils.
"Once in full operation," the department reports, "these two biorefineries will have a combined capacity to produce 92 million gallons of advanced biofuel per year for the military."
That's a lot of pumpkins. But then, America grows a lot of them.
In 2012, America grew over one billion pounds of pumpkins, the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center reported.
Soon, the Energy Department will help turn America's jack-o'-lantern carving parties into a source of green fuel.
To that end, the department also provided some fun, free energy-themed pumpkin carving patterns.