Spooky zero-waste Halloween Decor

Like heaps of American-imports before it, Halloween is becoming more and more popular in Australia, with people buying more lollies, costumes and of course, decorations to celebrate the spooky season.

With jack-o-lanterns being a mainstay of Halloween, the amount of pumpkins being farmed and sold around this time of year in Australia are on the up-and-up. Last year, the projected sales of “carving pumpkins” were 460 tonnes from Coles and Woolies combined. Now here’s why that’s a bit of an environmental issue.

As the name suggests, this variety of pumpkin hasn’t been grown to be eaten, just carved. Carving pumpkins are a lot easier to carve than your traditional pumpkins and because they aren’t grown to be eaten, they are inedible—all while carrying a bigger price tag than normal pumpkins. So this means that resources are being wasted to grow and sell food that can’t be eaten! It’s simply thrown out after Halloween, which leads to it generating greenhouse gases in our landfills. Unless these pumpkins are composted properly, they’ll be contributing towards the 7 million tonnes of food waste Australia produces on average annually.

So, what’s the solution? Well, for starters, Australians could do things our way and support fresh, in-season fruit as carving alternatives. The Halloween carving tradition was never restricted to pumpkins anyway, with carved turnips and potatoes having previously been the rage.

Why not try your hand at carving a Petrifying Papaya? Or Possessed Pineapple? A Wicked Watermelon perhaps? Using these alternatives means that you can actually enjoy the fruit while you’re making your disturbing decorations.

All you have to do is cut their top and carve out their flesh to eat in a fruit salad or blend into a juice, and then you’re all set to get carving the fruit’s skin. And remember, when it’s past Halloween-o’clock, simply compost the skin.