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Plastic-free Holidays

No-Waste Pumpkin Carving

Chelsea Burns, Content Editor

October 18, 2023

Maybe the best part about Halloween and the Fall season? Pumpkins! While most holiday decorations create waste, pumpkins are capable of being no-waste while still making your house look super festive. Whether you’re carving pumpkins or leaving them whole, follow these steps to make sure no part of the pumpkin goes to waste.

The Inside Scoop

That stringy goop inside your pumpkin? Yep, that’s what pumpkin puree is made of! Just pull out all of the seeds (but save them!), roast it in the oven at 350* for ~30 minutes, then puree it in a blender or food processor until it’s completely smooth. Add it into muffins, oatmeal, or make a pumpkin pie!

A Crunchy Snack

Yes, you could use your pumpkin seeds to grow more pumpkins… or you can eat them for a high protein, plant-based snack!

  1. Soak seeds in cold water—they’ll float to the top and you can scoop them out
  2. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Pat the seeds dry, then toast them until they’re tacky, about 5 minutes.
  3. Drizzle the seeds with the olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. Bake until light golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

Food for the Earth

Over 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins are thrown away every year, and just one pumpkin can take over 20 years to decompose in a landfill environment. As food waste like pumpkins rot away, it also releases methane gas, a climate change driver 30x more potent than CO2. After your pumpkins have served their purpose, put them in the compost instead. Some cities also offer to pick up your pumpkins to donate them as food to local farms.


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