WHILE green pumpkins may not be traditional, Warwickshire residents are being urged to keep their Halloween environmentally friendly this year.
Statistics show some 8m pumpkins are binned after Halloween – the equivalent of enough pumpkin pie to feed the entire nation. Not only that but over half of consumers in the UK buy pumpkins solely for Halloween, and half of those bin the nutritious flesh when carving spooky faces.
Recycling chiefs say the ultimate answer to keeping it green is to not carve a pumpkin at all. But since it may not go down well with Halloween enthusiasts, carvers can follow the tips below to make the most of their pumpkin.
– Eat the flesh – hollow out the pumpkin as much as possible to create a thin shell – not only will this mean more on your plate, it will help the pumpkin glow more brightly.
– Don’t forget the seeds. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein and unsaturated fats, including omega-3 as well as being packed with nutrients. Seeds can be soaked in salt water to remove the skins and then roasted in the oven for a healthy snack.
– Use as a food caddy. Once the pumpkin has done its job, use it as a temporary caddy to collect food scraps ready for composting.
– Buy a vegetable you are more likely to eat. Turnips are actually the the traditional vegetable for carving at Halloween in the UK, but are quite difficult to do so. On the other hand, butternut squashes are nutritious and don’t require as much water as a pumpkin when grown.
– Buy local – there are pumpkin farms and farm shops across Warwickshire more likely to offer different varieties of pumpkins better for eating.
– Grow your own – it can be satisfying watching them grow around a foot each day and growers can choose the variety best for eating.
– Inedible parts like the hard skin and stem should be composted at home or placed in the green wheeled bin for recycling.
– To home compost without a bin, smash the pumpkin into pieces with a spade and bury the pieces in a shady spot in the garden to fertilise the soil.
– Those with a bin should chop or smash it up and deposit with dry materials like leaves or newspaper.