Sarah Allen: Recycle pumpkin lanterns after celebrating Hallowe’en

Squirrels enjoy eating bird seed from a Hallowe'en pumpkin display

Squirrels enjoy eating bird seed from a Hallowe'en pumpkin display - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Exmouth environmental campaigner Sarah Allen is urging people to recycle their pumpkins post halloween

Around 24million pumpkins will be sold in Britain this Hallowe’en. Are you one of these pumpkin purchasers? If so, what do you do with your pumpkin?

Carved into a traditional scary, style face or even a more elaborate design and lit by a candle, these jack-o’-lanterns will be seen dotted around town on windowsills and doorsteps letting everyone know Hallowe’en is here!

The scooped-out flesh - though there isn’t a lot in those grown to be carved - is often not used leading to food waste.

In fact, more than half bought will not be eaten.

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Personally, I’ve been making pumpkin soup each Hallowe’en for a few years now. Combined with a few other seasonal vegetables this makes a lovely, warming autumnal meal.

However, the seeds, in my opinion, are the best part!

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Separated from the flesh and washed, I keep a few to grow next year’s pumpkin and roast the rest.

I use this recipe from Jamie Oliver:!8 and they are delicious!

Once we’ve finished with the pumpkin lantern, it goes into our compost bin to slowly be munched on by a range of mini beasts and becomes compost for growing more vegetables another year.

If you haven’t got a compost bin, the lantern, with candle removed, can be put in your food recycling.

I’ve seen lots of posts online about feeding pumpkins to wildlife. Apparently squirrels love them!

I don’t know if this is the case as I eat all edible parts myself!

My local squirrels don’t miss out too much as I often see one hung upside down enjoying a meal from our bird feeder!

I have, however, heard that hedgehogs should not be eating pumpkins as they can make our prickly friends ill.

It breaks my heart that our iconic hedgehogs have declined so much they are now vulnerable to extinction in the UK.

So, please do not leave pumpkins outside on the ground.

Happy Hallowe’en!

log on to for Sarah Allen’s blog

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