Halloween is right around the corner, which means it’s time for costumes, decor, sweets and treats. Jack-o’-lanterns are an iconic tradition where everyone can have fun carving pumpkins and lighting the night with their creation. In fact, 99% of pumpkins are purchased for carving. This year, as you express your carving skills, be sure to keep these tips in mind to minimize waste and truly experience all pumpkins have to offer.
Did you know pumpkins are grown on every continent except for Antarctica? Choosing to support local businesses and purchase pumpkins from a nearby patch can reduce packaging waste. Your pumpkins do not have to travel very far to get from farm to table which reduces the amount of carbon dioxide produced. Plus, visiting a pumpkin patch is a fun afternoon activity to enjoy with friends and family.
A list of local pumpkin patches can be found here. Be sure to call them beforehand as their hours may have changed due to COVID-19.
Use the entire pumpkin
There are many ways to use pumpkins in addition to carving out designs. Pumpkin seeds can be roasted with a bit of salt and make a yummy snack. The pulp of pumpkins can be used to make an endless list of scrumptious foods like pumpkin pie, soup, bread, and more.
Once halloween is over, you can still keep your pumpkins out for the rest of autumn. However, instead of tossing them into the trash bin, add them to your compost. Every part of the pumpkin is compostable but note that the rind will take longer to decompose than the flesh. To quicken the process, try cutting your pumpkin into pieces.
Lastly, here are a few fun facts about pumpkins:
- Pumpkins are considered a fruit
- Pumpkins have been on Earth for more than 5,000 years
- Over 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins are produced each year in the U.S.
Written by Emily Su, Class of 2022
Photo Credits: https://www.finder.com/cost-of-pumpkins