Many love to carve pumpkins and squash for Halloween, and we are no exception. But in trying to live a sustainable life, it is important to avoid food waste whenever we can. We should make sure we use as much of the pumpkins and squash for food as we can before we carve them. And once they are no longer needed as decoration, we should make sure we don’t send them to landfill.
Remember, you may be able to carve your pumpkins and eat them too. Scoop out more of the flesh and eat it before using the shells as lanterns. Remember, there are plenty of interesting pumpkin recipes to consider if you think beyond pumpkin pie.
You can also use the seeds as food, they are delicious roasted. Those you do not eat will surely be appreciated by birds in your garden. You can also use the stringy ‘guts’ of the pumpkin along with other vegetable scraps to make a vegetable stock.
Once you have enjoyed carving and displaying your pumpkins, you might still be able to make use of them after Halloween. For example, you might turn carved pumpkins into biodegradable plant pots. Or hang one in a tree as a temporary bird feeder.
Once it begins to break down, you can feed your pumpkin to livestock, or smash it up well and leave it out for deer or other wildlife. You might even be able to take it to a local zoo or wildlife centre, with animals to feed.
Of course, you should always compost food waste at home. And smashing up pumpkins and adding them to a home composting system is a great way to make sure you return their nutrients to your garden.
Alternatively, if you do not have much space for composting and only have a small system, you might be able to find a pumpkin smashing event in your area. Communities often come together to prevent food waste from ending up in landfill, and channel the smashed pumpkins back into municipal composting systems.
Don’t add to the food waste problem. Make sure you prepare, and have plenty of ideas for eating pumpkins, and for preventing them from ending up in landfill when the time for decoration is done. That is one important way to make sure you have a sustainable Halloween this year.