Pumpkin waste: the real Halloween horror story

Halloween is a much-loved celebration that has long served as a symbolic bridge between the worlds of the living and the dead.

Nowadays, this October festivity is synonymous with trick-or-treaters, elaborate costumes, spirited gatherings, and the tradition of pumpkin picking and carving.

However, Halloween has a skeleton in its closet. The chilling truth is this eerie celebration generates significant waste, with pumpkin carving being a major contributor.

Pumpkins are typically picked, intricately carved, proudly displayed, and then discarded — before ending up in a landfill as pumpkin pollution.

This year alone, a spine-tingling 22.2 million pumpkins are projected to meet this grim fate. Sticking the knife in further, this equates to a staggering £32.6 million in wasted resources and thousands of tonnes of perfectly edible pumpkin flesh.

Let’s dive deep into our cauldron of ideas and shed some light on how to make environmentally responsible choices this Halloween.

We’ll explore methods to select and decorate your pumpkin and explain how to avoid contributing to the ghoulish waste statistics this October.

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Seven ways schools can reduce paper waste

Schools play a vital role in promoting responsible practices within local communities, yet many produce a shocking amount of waste.

Every primary school pupil in the UK produces an estimated 45kg of waste per academic year, while secondary school pupils generate 22kg.

Notably, 70% of the waste in school bins comprises food waste, paper, and card materials.

Despite the potential for recycling, just 20% of the food, paper, and card waste in schools is currently being recycled.

Let’s hit the books and explore how your school can reduce paper waste and increase recycling to boost its eco credentials and academic budget long-term.

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A beginner’s guide to zero-waste restaurants

Food waste is a growing concern for the hospitality and food service industry in the UK. Every year, these sectors discard a staggering 1.1 million tonnes of food, amounting to a value of £3.2 billion.

Not only does this waste have a detrimental effect on businesses, but it also poses a significant threat to the environment.

Food waste accounts for 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, highlighting its undeniable environmental impact.

While some establishments are actively working to minimise waste to safeguard their finances and the planet, a new trend is emerging in the UK: zero-waste restaurants.

Since the UK’s first zero-waste restaurant opened in Brighton in 2014, these innovative dining establishments have steadily gained popularity.

Let’s work up an appetite as we discover what zero-waste means, how a zero-waste restaurant operates, and where you can experience one.

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Eight ways to reduce waste in the retail sector

Environmental sustainability is a pressing concern, and businesses across most industries are actively seeking ways to reduce waste and minimise their ecological footprint.

The retail sector must play a significant role in adopting sustainable practices due to its large-scale operations and consumption rate.

Retail waste can encompass everything from unsold products to packaging materials, and waste causes and streams vary significantly between businesses.

With increasing consumer awareness and demand for eco-friendly practices, implementing waste reduction strategies in retail has become more critical than ever.

Let’s look at eight practical methods for retailers to reduce waste and promote sustainability, starting with the logical step of a waste audit.

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How to reduce food waste in UK schools

School food waste is a significant issue that has plagued the UK’s educational institutions for decades.

If you’re wondering, ‘how much food do schools waste per year?’, you’re in for a shock.

55,408 tonnes of food waste is generated annually by primary schools in England and 24,974 tonnes by secondary schools. That’s a total food waste weight of 80,382 tonnes across England’s schools annually — meaning urgent action must be taken.

Let’s address the reasons behind school food waste before outlining solutions.

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Where to pick your own pumpkins in Yorkshire

With Halloween just around the corner, autumn festivities are in full swing.

Nothing says autumn like creamy hot chocolate, pumpkin spice lattes, and fallen orange leaves — except maybe a visit to the pumpkin patch. Wrapped up warm and wandering through a muddy field to find your perfect pumpkin really sets the autumn mood.

Here are some great places to go pumpkin picking in Yorkshire that you can visit and find your perfect pick.

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Plastic free kitchen swaps

The kitchen is the heart of the home and often where we use and generate the most plastic waste. In fact, since its creation in 1907, plastic use has consumed much of the UK.

You’ll find plastic in many kitchen items, from single-use plastic packaging to plastic utensils, cling film, Tupperware, and plastic-infused tea bags.

In the UK, 82% of adults want to reduce the amount of single-use plastic they throw away. However, standing in a kitchen surrounded by plastic can feel overwhelming.

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Plastic Free July: Who produces the most plastic waste?

Each year, Plastic Free July encourages companies and individuals to analyse how much plastic they throw away. The campaign highlights the benefits of environmentally friendly packaging and reusable containers and prompts shoppers to reconsider their buying habits and purchase zero-waste products instead.

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