That’s according to Charlotte Green, from TradeWaste.co.uk, who has crunched some numbers over the seasonal habit of carving out the innards of pumpkins to make Hallowe’en lanterns.
“The waste produced at Hallowe’en is incredible,” Green said, “and many people will want to get rid of the stinky rotting pumpkin carcasses fairly quickly after what might turn out to be a very wet weekend.”
Much of the pumpkin pulp ends up in general waste bins, according to Green, while some will go into food waste.
But the volume of waste generated is gobsmacking, with 12.6million pumpkins will end up being discarded this week. Taking a good-sized pumpkin as weighing in at 4lb, that could mean that 25,000 tons of waste is created needlessly. And wastefully.
An environmentally and economically coscious household, though, will ensure that they get their full money’s worth from their Hallowe’en decoration, and make sure that the pumpkin flesh is used in the kitchen to make soup or roasted to make a delicious and sweet vegetable side like sweet potato. Then there’s pumpkin pie, bread, cookies, spiced lattes …
The pumpkin is such a versatile vegetable, there really isn’t any excuse for not making best use of it throughout the season.
“We are promoting as many alternatives to simply binning both the inside and outside of a pumpkin this year,” Green said.
Alternative options are also available for using the carcass once the excitement of Hallowe’en has passed, include composting it (every home with a garden should have a compost bin), and working with the kids to make bug houses.
“We need to think about how to reduce the amount of waste put in the ground, and welcome any new ideas on how to recycle pumpkins – time to get the kids involved!” said Green.
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