How does our annual tradition of picking the perfect pumpkin, creating the coolest jack-o-lantern and placing these masterpieces on our door stops really affect the environment more than we may know? This may be scarier news than ghost stories and haunted houses.
Every year, over 10 million pumpkins are produced in just the UK alone. In Canada we have over 2,500 farms that has pumpkin patches, making it a great fall activity to go with your family and friends and pick out the perfect jack-o-lantorn. And from those, 95% of the pumpkins end up in landfill each year!
This year, you can play your part on the eco journey of reducing our carbon footprint. Over the years, it has become more and more common to create the best carving, art or painting, and then displaying it for the world to see. However, once Halloween is over, these poor squashes end up getting tossed into our garbage bins and landfill.
Pumpkins, along with any other food that end up in landfill, emit methane, a greenhouse gas that has 20x the warming effect of carbon dioxide, aka leading to global warming at an alarming rate. With the amount of pumpkins going to the dump, it contributes to the 1.2 billion tonnes of global food waste each year.
This year, avoid pumpkins from going to landfill, and here are some ways you can do that:
1) EAT YOUR PUMPKIN!
Pumpkins are extremely nutritious and make for a great snack or addition to our meals. Carve them out and save them for delicious recipes, including pie, muffins, soup, bread, or toast the seeds and put them on your salad!
Use the stringy parts of your pumpkin which aren't normally eaten to make a vegetable stock.
Once you are done using pumpkins, make sure you put these squash into your green bins so they can be properly composted at your local facility.
3) BUY LOCAL or GROW YOUR OWN
Buy pumpkins at your local farm or even better yet, grow your own at home! This saves carbon emissions on transportation, shipping, and packaging, and you are supporting local businesses!
4) DON'T PAINT YOUR PUMPKINS
We've all been seeing the incredible art and designs over the years done through carving, however avoid using paint on your jack-o-lanterns as the toxic ingredients in paint will no longer make it eligible for the green bin. Avoiding paint = avoiding dumping into garbage.
What are you planning to do with your pumpkins this year to be more eco-concious? Let us know. And subsribe to The Sustainable Act on the blog & social media to stay up to date with more tips and posts, as well as when our newest podcast season will drop!
Share this post with your friends or family if you'd like to spread the knowledge.
Make sure you check out the Instagram Reel and give it a share!
Have a happy and sustainable Halloween!
THE SUSTAINABLE ACT
WITH SMIELY KHURANA