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Archive for October, 2019

Pumpkin waste at an all-time high in UK

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As such we’ve put together some tips on what to do with your leftover pumpkin flesh and carvings:

Just last week it was reported in the UK that food waste would be at record levels this month as an estimated 8 million pumpkins are carved for Halloween and subsequently binned. This equates to an approximate 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin flesh that could well have been eaten. 

Make soup or pumpkin puree

Separate the seeds from the guts of the pumpkin and then for soup bring to the boil with some stock, onion and any other favourite vegetables. Once the veg has softened then blend the ingredients together until smooth. Serve with chunky bread for an autumnal treat or freeze once cooled for a later date. 

For pumpkin puree again you’ll need to separate all the seeds out and then just blend or food process until smooth. You can then use this puree as a basis for lots of dishes including curry, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie and more. 

Roasted pumpkin seeds

For a delicious snack this is a simple solution. Spread the separated pumpkin seeds out on a baking tray and lightly drizzle olive oil on top. Pop in the oven to roast until they’ve a golden toasted appearance and then enjoy!

Pumpkin juice

As inspired by Harry Potter as a firm Diagon Alley favourite you could use your pumpkin flesh to make this wizard mixture. Pour boiling water over the flesh including stringy areas and seeds. Let it soak for around half an hour and then strain, removing any solid parts. To sweeten you can add insome brown sugar with the boiling water. Put together with some apple juice for an extra seasonal twist. Adults only can add some apple cider for an alcohol inspired pumpkin treat.

Feed wildlife or use as a planter

For the pumpkin lantern itself once you have finished with it you can feed the leftover shell to wildlife. Leave in your garden or take to a nature spot and leave for wildlife to eat. Alternatively, you can turn it into a planter. Fill with compost and some of your seasonal favourite plants and plant in your garden. The pumpkin will naturally fertilise and compost in the soil over time.

The impact of clothing waste

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Clothing has hit the headlines recently as one of the main areas of waste in a typical UK household. It has been estimated that clothing to the value of around £140 million is sent to landfill each year. Moreover, it is also estimated that the value of unused items hanging in wardrobes is around £30 million. 

As such there is a push for householders and local authorities to put more emphasis into reducing clothing waste by changing shopping habits, extending the life of clothes people own already and managing better disposal for clothing that has reached the end of its life. 

The charity WRAP has put together some estimates regarding the bigger picture concerning clothing waste which make for alarming reading. For example:

It is believed that the yearly footprint of a typical household’s new clothing purchases, including laundering is equivalent to – the carbon emissions of driving 6000 miles in an average car, the water required for 1000+ baths and in excess of the weight of 100 pairs of jeans. 

The charity believes that there are opportunities to reduce the impact of clothing on waste overall and their report ‘Valuing our clothes’ highlights some of these and includes:- Reducing the impact of new clothing sold – Extending the usefulness of existing clothing- Raising the demand and availability of pre-owned and re-usable clothing- Prevent clothing reaching landfill- Reducing the impact that washing and cleaning clothing has

Extending the lifetime of clothing is seen as a big way to reduce the impact on the environment. The average life of a typical garment is thought to be around 2.2 years but even just increasing that by 9 months could have a positive influence. Ways to extend clothing life include: – Ability to mend or alter clothing- Design of clothing and suitability to adapt to fashion changes- Consumer willingness to wear things again and again

All of this but in addition people should take great responsibility for how they dispose of clothing and get waste removed by the local authority or registered waste carriers only.

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