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Have a green Halloween

29 october 2010
While it’s important to enjoy the Halloween festivities, it’s also important to remember the huge impact that it can have on the environment. Every year, one million pumpkins are sold across the country, 99% of which are bought for making Halloween lanterns. Sadly, the vast majority of these are tossed in to the bin once Halloween is over. 

Seasonal events such as Halloween highlight the terrifying waste of food from households each year, with up to £400 worth of food per household discarded every year. This Halloween, Notts residents are reminded that as well as using the shells for carving, the flesh of pumpkins can be used to make many delicious recipes such as pumpkin lasagne, pumpkin soup or pumpkin pie. Also, any bits of the pumpkin that aren't used, such as the seeds and the old lantern shell, can be added to your home composting bin. There they will break down safely and help provide a nitrogen-rich ingredient to make compost, which is a nutritious addition to your garden soil. What's more, you can use the compost to grow pumpkins for next year.

By minimising food waste with creative cookery and composting the inedible parts of fruit and vegetables such as pumpkin shells, huge amounts of organic waste can be diverted from landfill. When sent to landfill, organic waste breaks down without oxygen and produces methane, a greenhouse gas, which contributes to global warming. When added to the compost bin, organic waste breaks down aerobically, which is good news for the environment. 

Here are some other spooky tips for having a green Halloween: 

•Decorate the house with some ghoulish puppets made from rubbish such as plastic bottles 
•Looking for a fancy dress costume? Take a trip down to the charity shop and see what your imagination can create! An old bride's or bridesmaid's dress can make a great 'corpse bride' costume and an old cushion and coat can be turned into the Hunchback of Notre Dame! 
•If you're planning on having food at your Halloween party try to avoid using disposable plates and cutlery 
•Try decorating your house with materials that are easy to recycle or reuse, or try to use recycled paper or newspaper  
•"Trick or Treat"? Decorate an old ice cream tub or fruit punnet to carry your Halloween treats! 
•'Treat' the environment and save your costumes and decorations use again next year