4 Steps to a Zero Waste Pumpkin Carving For Halloween
Carving pumpkins for Halloween? With all of the goodness that usually gets tossed into the trash during this holiday activity, learn how to make this tradition more sustainable. Check out these 4 steps to make your carving completely zero waste this year!
But First! Cut Your Pumpkin
Start with a sharp knife, metal spoon, and two bowls – one for flesh and one for seeds. Cut open the pumpkin by carving a circle into the top (or bottom) of the pumpkin.
Scoop out seeds & strings (aka “guts”) into one bowl, and then for the other bowl use a strong spoon to scrape the walls for the “flesh” that can be used to make pie!
Then, carve your design as desired!
1. Roast the Pumpkin Seeds for a Tasty Snack
Ingredients: Raw Seeds, Water, Olive Oil or Butter, Salt
- Rinse seeds & separate guts
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Coat bottom of baking pan with olive oil or butter
- Spread seeds on a pan and in a single layer – toss them to coat with the oil & add salt (can also add chili flakes or other seasoning!)
- Bake on the top rack until seeds begin to brown, ~ 20 minutes. When lightly browned, remove & let cool.
Store in a jar and use as a snack or an addition to soups, salads, granola bars, oatmeal bowls and more!
2. Make Some Purée!
- Bring water to boil in bottom of steamer or in a pan
- Remove skin from pumpkin meat & slice into similarly sized chunks
- Place chunks in a steamer (or metal colander in pan with lid on) for approx. 50 minutes or until soft & mushy
- Squash with fork or potato masher to make purée, or use a blender
Leave to cool and use it for other recipes – like pie, face masks, or soup! Freeze leftovers for later use.
3. Revitalize your skin with a DIY pumpkin face mask.
Nourish your skin and use the extra remains of pumpkin puree to make a face mask at home! For an exfoliating facial scrub mix ½ cup of pumpkin purée with 1 tbsp of organic honey and ½ of finely ground oatmeal. For a quick and vitamin-C filled face mask, mix 1 tbsp.of pumpkin puree and 1 tsp. of plain yogurt. For more inspiration, try one of the face mask recipes from Hello Glow.
4. Repurpose carved pumpkins and turn them into bird feeders!
Cut your carved pumpkins in half and fill the bottom with bird seed. Then, watch as feathered friends flock to your yard! Afterwards, be sure to compost the remainder. Just don’t forget to scrape off any wax from the pumpkin so it doesn’t get eaten!
After you’ve used up all the pumpkin that you can, take a moment to be proud of yourself and appreciate your ability to use up every part of the pumpkin! Be sure to share your knowledge with your friends, family, and neighbors! Happy Halloween!
Want to find the nearest location where you can compost your pumpkins and any other organic food waste? Visit our website www.wastefreesd.org and find the closest recycling, repair, donation or disposal centers near you!