Want to see something really scary? The waste that’s left after every Halloween is enough to make your head spin.
So as we gear up for our annual ghoul-fest, a pumpkin would like a quick word…
Shock! Pumpkins, now edible
Last year, when you bought your pumpkin, I bet you scooped out the insides, carved out a scary face and threw away all that lovely pumpkinny goodness, didn’t you? Most people do. 12 million pumpkins are thrown away every year in the UK and they’re a big part of the 7 million tonnes of food we throw away each year.
But here’s the thing: pumpkins aren’t just good for making scary lanterns. The insides are also good for far less horrible purposes like making soup, risotto, curry or pie, and they’re rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants too. You can even eat the seeds – just make sure you don’t have a seed allergy and toast them first.
You can find loads of pumpkin recipes here.
Horror! Plastic nightmares
On 31 October, the streets will be full of witches, wizards and skeletons. But scarier than all of those will be the fact that, as a 2019 survey found, around 83% of those costumes will be made of oil-based plastic likely to end up as landfill.
It would be great if this year you could buy a more sustainable costume. But if you can’t, try charity shops, reusing last year’s outfit, making your own or swapping last year’s outfit with friends so the kids have something new to wear that doesn’t leave such a big, nasty carbon footprint. It’s cheaper too!
Terror! Plastic nightmares, the sequel
Just when you though it was safe, here come the decorations, the plates and cutlery, the lanterns, the trick-or-treat bags and sweet wrappers – and chances are they’ll all be made of plastic or have a plastic coating. But with a bit of Halloween magic, you can make some of that landfill fodder disappear. Here’s how:
So how about offering boxed loose sweets (because the cardboard can be recycled) or making your own treats like cupcakes, biscuits and flapjacks?
This year let’s make Halloween as scary as ever, but the Halloween waste a lot less horrifying. Thanks.