Cook don’t carve!

Eat your pumpkin and save 95 million meals from the bin this Halloween

  • This Halloween, 30 million pumpkins are expected to be bought for carving, of which 16 million won’t be eaten 
  • Hubbub calls for public to embrace creative alternatives to carving to reduce the scary number of pumpkins that go to waste
  • “Draw with Rob” video launching to inspire kids to decorate instead of carving

New research from environmental charity Hubbub has revealed a horrifying 30.43 million pumpkins1 are expected to be bought for carving this Halloween, of which 15.82 million2 won’t be eaten. This is the equivalent of 95 million meals-worth³ of pumpkins set to go to waste, worth £26.7 million.4

The Censuswide survey of 2,000 UK residents found that of those who celebrate Halloween, more than half (55%) scoop out the pumpkin and carve shapes into the skin. However, the data suggests 1.9 million households in the UK do not enjoy carving pumpkins. A third (33%) of these respondents say it’s because they find it a hassle, while the same proportion of people don’t like the mess it creates. 

Today, Hubbub has launched its annual #EatYourPumpkin campaign which calls on Halloween lovers to ditch the knife and give decorating a go. By switching pumpkin carving to decorating, the charity hopes that even more pumpkins will be eaten this Halloween.

Mark Breen, Senior Creative Partner at Hubbub said: “For ten years we’ve been inspiring the public to eat their pumpkins at Halloween. This year we’re sharing fun ideas to decorate pumpkins instead of carving them, to help them keep for longer and give people more time to cook them. For those who love to carve their masterpiece, don’t forget those carvings make a great addition to a soup or curry.”

“We’re working with food and art influencers to inspire everybody to decorate and then eat pumpkins, which will save food and money. You can get an average of six meals out of a pumpkin. If everyone cooked their Halloween pumpkins, they’d be saving a combined £26.7 million4 worth of edible food from going to waste!

“To inspire even more people to cook their pumpkins, 100 of our community fridges across the UK will be holding special pumpkin events from community meals, to decorate and cook workshops to make this delicious food go further.”

On 24th October, Hubbub and award-winning children’s book writer and illustrator Rob Biddulph, will be releasing a special DrawWithRob video – his first ever not using paper. Instead, he will show three brand new designs for drawing straight onto a pumpkin with edible ink.

For the second year, this year’s #EatYourPumpkin campaign is supported by donations from the Starbucks®  5p cup charge, which is applied when a customer chooses to use a single-use cup. Introduced voluntarily in 2018, Starbucks has donated all funds to Hubbub to create stronger, greener communities.

  Hubbub’s Top tips for an environmentally friendly Halloween:   

  • If you’d rather not waste any of your pumpkin, then get creative with your decorating. Think of alternative ways to create a spooky grimace without carving, meaning you can still eat the pumpkin when Halloween celebrations are over! 5    Head to Hubbub’s social media channels for some step-by-step ideas for decorating your pumpkins!
  • Did you know you can eat almost every part of the pumpkin? In fact, it’s only the stalk that isn’t edible. Head to Hubbub’s Eat Your Pumpkin page for tips on how to use the skin, seeds, guts and flesh of your pumpkins.    
  • One pumpkin can make several meals, why not freeze the bits you don’t want to use straight away and save for a rainy day?    
  • If you don’t like the taste of pumpkin, then why not make your own spooky decorations? From craft sets to window pens to making your own Halloween poster, there are plenty of ways you can decorate for Halloween without using a pumpkin.   

  Over the coming weeks, the #EatYourPumpkin campaign will be sharing a range of Halloween-themed content including sustainable activities for kids, pumpkin recipes, alternative pumpkin decorations, and tips on how to save food from going to waste.

Visit to find out more. #EatYourPumpkin