Pumpkin waste, crazy costumes and problematic sweet wrappers

We love the spooky season! Doesn’t everyone? If you’re not big on the horror films then there are plenty of other things to get involved in. Cosy nights under blankets, pumpkin-spiced lattes and yes – we’re not opposed to some pumpkin carving too, as long as it’s done right. We’ll explain what we mean in a little while. But Halloween waste is one of the most troublesome things for our planet – so let’s take a look at how you can make a difference this spooky season.

Transforming pumpkin waste 

Possibly the biggest Halloween activity to ever exist. Pumpkin carving. Did you know it’s also the most harmful to our planet? Although 26 million pumpkins are purchased each year in the UK, only 13 million are eaten – the rest are carved and thrown away. 13 million pumpkins. Grown using valuable resources – not just the water but the energy and fuel to collect, transport and distribute them into homes. So this year, if you’re going to purchase one of the 26 million, here are a few tips so that they don’t end up as one of the wasteful ones! 

1. Use the guts! 

It may come as a shock, but all those innards that you carve out of the pumpkin are totally edible! Every last bit. Collect all the seeds and pop them on a baking tray lined with foil. Season them (or don’t) and bake them for a tasty snack. 

The ‘flesh’ as its commonly called can be used in multiple different ways. You can blend it up and mix it with some other ingredients for a pumpkin soup. You can pop it in a pie to have pumpkin pie. There might even be the temptation to pop it in a spicy curry. Trust us, we’ve seen how versatile the pumpkin is and it shouldn’t end up in the bin. If you have any other ideas, pop them in the comment section below. 

2. Make the most of the skin 

The carcass. The shell. The skin. Whatever you call it, don’t waste it. Have you seen our potato peel recipe? You can be sure that pumpkin chips are just as tasty and remember, if you don’t like pumpkin flavour, you can douse them in whatever herbs and spices you like to create a flavour like no other! Grab some dips and have a spooky night in with your pumpkin waste food upcycled recipes. 

If you cant scrape all the flesh from the skin (we know, a bit of spooky writing to go in our Halloween special) then treat your pumpkin similar to a potato with some skin-on-chips. There are so many tasty treats to make with ‘pumpkin waste’. 

3. If all else fails 

You might have a home with three children and you can only convince two that they can carve together. Potentially giving you two pumpkins in your home. That’s a lot of pumpkin to eat! We hope you buy some small ones. But if you find that you’re struggling you can use your freezer. Raw and cooked pumpkin can be frozen for up to 3 months, so perhaps you can have a pumpkin soup starter on Christmas day? 

You still want more? Well, we’ve got it for you! If you can’t upcycle your pumpkin waste if you can’t fit it in the freezer. There’s still a chance! You can pop it in your food waste recycling caddy. Not your regular rubbish bin. For every 1kg of food waste, 2kg CO2e is created (that’s your carbon footprint if you’re unsure). Pop it in your food waste bin so that it can at least be turned into fertiliser and serve a purpose for our planet.

Costume waste 

7 million costumes are binned each year. Which is a bit crazy if you ask us considering it’s a ‘wear a couple of times’ each year outfit! We don’t understand why anyone is buying anything new. Keep your old torn-up clothes from the year and a bit of white face paint and you’re a zombie. Dress all in black, paint your face green and you’re a modern-day witch. But if you’re struggling, head to a charity shop. This time of year you’ll easily be able to find one going cheap – plus you can always donate it again afterwards. Never buy new, and never discard – that’s how to keep your Halloween outfit eco-friendly. 

Problematic Halloween sweet wrappers 

Stop trying to recycle sweet wrappers at home! There aren’t many areas in the UK that can recycle sweet wrappers so instead of throwing them in there because ‘they’re plastic’ – check your recycling locator beforehand. If your sweet wrapper is foil, there’s more chance of you recycling it. But we’re sure there will be plenty of greenwashing this spooky season. Paper wrapping that will say ‘You can recycle me’ – don’t fall for it! Remember the wrappers aren’t always right, there will be different capabilities in your area. So, check using the recycling locator on your account – or pop us a message if you’re unsure.

It’s very easy to get caught up in spook season. Gooey treats, messy tricks, and even wholesome family actions can have a big impact on the environment and your bank balance! Let’s try to waste less this Halloween, and as always, there’s a financial saving in it also.

3 Responses

  1. Great idea doing Greenredeem! Just wondering how and when you are matching the points donations this weekend? I’ve just donated 50 points and I am very keen to see Greenredeem matching this.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Margareta, this is all an automated process, essential points will be doubled. Keep an eye out as we will be announcing the results of the schools donations soon!

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