Today’s Small Step: Squash It!

By Faran Krentcil, Fact checked by Jessica Ochoa

1 min read

Carved pumpkins

This year, we’re estimated to buy 16.5 million pumpkins for Halloween. But what happens on November 1? More carbon emissions caused by the 900,000 tons of trashed pumpkins—unless we take some small steps to change things.

The good news: We totally can! If you’re planning to carve pumpkins this weekend, follow these tips to be a little more mindful of the planet, and get benefits for your skin, tastebuds, and wallet, too.

🎃 FARM 🎃

Grab a pumpkin from a local farm. That cuts down on its carbon footprint right from the start, and also supports the people—and ecosystem—in your own neighborhood! 

🎃 FUN 🎃

Most paints don’t biodegrade (and don’t get us started on plastic glitter…) so it’s best to carve your pumpkin instead. You can print or trace thousands of free carving stencils with a quick Google search!

🎃 FOOD 🎃

With clean or gloved hands, separate the pumpkin seeds from its “flesh.” Roast the pumpkin seeds for a yummy, fiber-packed snack or salad topping. Use the pumpkin flesh in soups, pasta, pie, vegan spice lattes—or you can freeze it for a Thanksgiving side dish! And if it’s just not a food you love, that’s okay. Bring it to the compost bin so it can rejoin the soil.


Did you know that pumpkin enzymes are amazing for your skin? So true, because they’re power-packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Take advantage with this simple face mask recipe from Gimme Some Oven, which takes about 60 seconds and promotes brighter skin.


When it’s finally time to get rid of your Jack-O-Lantern, don’t let it hit a landfill. Instead, take a large knife and slice it into smaller pieces. Compost as normal, and return to your giant bag of candy.