HALLOWEEN-fanatics in Warwickshire are being encouraged to take a greener approach to pumpkins this year.
Every year 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin are thrown away at Halloween, which is the equivalent of around 360 million portions of pumpkin pie.
But the message from Warwickshire County Council (WCC0 is – they are too good to throw away.
So for those planning to carve a pumpkin for Halloween, the advice is to hollow it out as much as possible to create a thin shell and keep the flesh and seeds for eating. Pumpkin is a healthy and versatile vegetable that can be used in lots of different recipes, including soups, crisps, cakes and curries.
Once the pumpkin has done its job scaring away any bad spirits, then it can be used as a temporary caddy to collect food scraps ready for composting or the local food waste collection. It’s even possible to compost a pumpkin at home without a compost bin – it just needs to be smashed into pieces and buried in a hole in a shady spot in a garden.
Once the pumpkin is covered with soil, nature will do the rest, rotting it down nicely and letting it fertilise the soil.
While those not planning to eat their pumpkin, shouldn’t carve one in the first place. Instead they can choose a different vegetable they are more likely to eat – such as a butternut squash or turnip. The worst option of all, that should be avoided at all costs, is buying a plastic pumpkin, as they don’t biodegrade or compost and are a waste of precious resources.
Coun Heather Timms, WCC spokesperson for environment, climate and culture, said: “Carving pumpkins is a really fun activity to do with the children this half-term, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity to get them choosing what to do with the flesh and seeds of the pumpkin. Making sure you use every part of the pumpkin might feel like only a small step to living a more sustainable life, but it all counts. Together we can make a big difference to reducing food waste and minimising our impact on the wider environment.”