Sustainability Case Study: Pumpkin carving workshop

In the lead up to Hallowee, Blackburn BID hosted a free, zero-waste pumpkin carving workshop – which attracted hundreds of people to the town centre event.

The pumpkin carving workshop, held between 10am and 3pm on King William Street, saw 265 pumpkins – including 50 donated by BID member Morrisons, and the rest provided at a low cost by BID Member Marks & Spencer – carved by visitors to the town centre.

The free workshop, accessible to people young and old, was a huge success – with people taking part as soon as the event opened. It also involved a live giant pumpkin carve.

The pumpkin pulp and seeds were scooped out of the hollowed vegetables by participants.

Some of the pumpkin carvers took pulp and seeds home to cook with, and some was collected and donated to Blackburn BID Member Nightsafe to ensure the pulp didn’t go to waste.

Nightsafe are a local Charity based in the town centre which supports homeless and vulnerably housed young people.

The pumpkin pulp was turned from a waste product into a delicious hot soup, pumpkin loaf, pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins too by our volunteers.

I have to say that it was absolutely amazing. There was a huge amount – which was thoroughly enjoyed by the young homeless people who access our services.”

Jan Larkin
CEO of Nightsafe

The remaining pulp and seeds were donated to a local farm to use for animal feed.

Participants took home their pumpkin designs to enjoy over Halloween.

The tools to carve the pumpkins, provided by Sand In Your Eye, were washed ready for their next event.

The event led to a zero-waste event – meeting the ‘sustainable’ priority set out by the BID.

Catherine Price, Blackburn BID Manager, said: “This is the first event of its kind hosted by Blackburn BID. The pumpkins were sourced from BID members, the pulp was utilised by community groups, and the end result was a biodegradable product.

“We wanted to ensure that there is as little waste as possible from the event, and we donated some of the pumpkin pulp to Nightsafe for them to use for food.”

A call out was also made to other community groups to see if they could benefit from the waste.

Catherine added: “At a time of rising costs, the event provided a fun, free of charge event for families to enjoy and we were inundated with people wanting to take part. The workshop was full from the moment we opened until we ran out of pumpkins!  We’ll definitely being running the event again in 2023.”