Halloween, also known as “All Hallows’ evening", is celebrated in many countries on October 31st and is dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), the martyrs and all the faithful departed. Activities during this celebration include trick-or-treating, dressing up in spooky costumes, playing pranks, visiting haunted houses, carving pumpkins and much more. Although these activities might seem fun and exciting at first sight, according to The Guardian, 18.000 tons of pumpkins end up in landfills during this season every year, including flesh and seeds.
Every year, 95% of pumpkins from approximately a 10 million harvest will be just used for Halloween purposes. According to a study by Hubbub and Knorr, 40% of UK consumers buy pumpkins to carve, but 60% of them report to not using the leftovers after carving them, instead throwing them out.
Under these circumstances, to prevent further damage on the environment, we would like to take you on a journey with us exploring the art of repurposing pumpkins waste.
It sounds obvious, but eating your pumpkin leftovers is apparently not as common as it sounds. Nutrition wise, pumpkins are known for having great health benefits, contributing immensely to your wellbeing. The starchy vegetables is known for its vibrant orange colours that contains great sources of beta-carotene, a carotenoid that converts in vitamin A. It also contains potassium, calcium magnesium, vitamin E, C and B vitamins.
In the kitchen, the pumpkin leftovers can be used greatly for the preparation of hardy, comfort food -winter dishes and in combination with certain spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, curry, turmeric and paprika powder, they can be transformed into delicious healthy recipes for everyone to enjoy- sweet and savoury.
Recipe ideas: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner/Snacks:
♥ Flavoured roasted pumpkinseeds with delicious spices
♥ Pumpkin soup and risotto
♥ Vegan squash mac and cheese
♥ Vegetarian filled pumpkin with cheese
Pumpkins are rich in Vitamins and antioxidants to help fight sun damage and wrinkles. Naturally it also contains fruits enzymes that help to gently exfoliate the skin cells, as well as Zinc and Potassium to fight against redness, itchy skin and pigmentation. It seems like the squashy vegetable can be used with such variety.
Beauty and skincare ideas using pumpkins:
♥ Papaya and Pumpkin Enzyme Mask
♥ Honey Pumpkin face mask
♥ Pumpkin body scrub
♥ Pumpkin hair mask for a shiny, nurtured look.
Who doesn’t want to be creative, whilst contributing positively to the Zero-Waste movement? It is so important to examine what goes to waste during your daily-life-tasks and evaluate which things can be reused or recycled! Yes, pumpkins can be used to make art by kids and adults, and it can be an enjoyable activity.
Here are so ideas:
♥ Pumpkin seeds craft! The seeds can be cleaned, dried and dyed with the colours of rainbow and used as patterning and decorating drawings and paintings.
♥ Turn pumpkin seeds into playful earrings!
♥ Turn pumpkin pulp into clay and make your own mug!
Ever thought of the fact that a pumpkin was once just a seed? Or better, ever thought of the amazing opportunity you have to grow your own pumpkins from the comfort of your home just by using your Halloween leftovers?
Ideas for using pumpkins for gardening:
♥ Use the seeds of your next pumpkin to grow your own pumpkin plant!
You might have seen pumpkins used as interior design pieces, but did you know you can transform real pumpkins into vases, pots and candle holders?
Coming directly from nature, you can use them to grow plants in them, giving your home an touch of originality. When it comes to decorating your house for fall, pumpkins come very much in handy. Make sure to carve them well so they last for an extended period of time! Better Homes & Gardens reveals the prettiest décor ideas, such as the creation of a flower vase or a flower crown.
Old pumpkins can see new life as food for backyard birds. Some will also eat the flesh.
Lastly, if you really run out of ideas and still have the golden flesh, we recommend starting a compost in your backyard. Smash it thoroughly until you reach a paste-like consistency, cover it with leaves and let nature do its job.
+ Words: Sofia Sovera, Luxiders Magazine Editor