Wasting Away

An eye-opening story of the life cycle of a pumpkin and its impact on climate change

Climate change. During my childhood, these words weighed heavily on my conscience.

  • What is it?
  • Why do i feel so much pressure?
  • What can i do to change it?
  • Why do I feel like there is nothing I can do?

These were some of the questions that came to mind. The story ‘Wasting Away’ aims to impress young minds on the importance of making simple changes to combat climate change.

When the subject of climate change comes up, you may feel helpless, overwhelmed, and scared too. But, ‘Wasting away’ may be the insight you need to think outside the box. Each year, our pumpkins embark on a very short lifecycle. Through this story, you will follow the events of the pumpkin’s journey until Halloween. Where it is abruptly cut short by our wasteful lifestyle. Additionally, it explores how you can reduce waste in a creative way and change this wasteful tradition.

According to CheaperWaste (2020), the UK produces 18000 tonnes of edible or useable pumpkin waste a year. If we change this figure alone, we can dramatically change the percentage of the food we waste each year. This piece challenges the traditional methods of teaching the larger picture at hand. It instead breaks problems down into smaller, more manageable parts. This allows you to focus on issues that are often overlooked, specifically food waste. Climate change does not have to weigh on your conscience either.

For other fun ways to learn about climate-change go to ClimateKids.

This black and white image illustrates the beginning of my story. Using it as a header picture as you can see the broader picture. The header image features a pumpkin on the grass, surrounded by the waste from another pumpkin to signify how much is wasted from a single pumpkin.

This is my first image in the story. There is a sense of equilibrium and subdued atmosphere created by the black and white image. In this image, we are presented with a small round pumpkin lying in the middle of the grass. We are presented with our main character. With such limited detail, this image does not give the purpose of the story away and is foreboding.

The pumpkin and a new character are presented at a table. The pumpkin is being carved into a frightful jack-o-lantern by a boy who sits behind it. Nearly ready for Halloween! A pile of pulp and seeds lay next to the pumpkin ready to be disposed of or… made into pumpkin soup!

A few days after Halloween is over, the pumpkin has been left outside. This pumpkin has started to wilt and has wrinkled. The image shows the pumpkin which has started rotting, placed on the doorstep, next to the doormat. A number of leaves surround the pumpkin and lay on the doorstep.

The penultimate image is the tip of the disruption of equilibrium. This photo shows a bin on concrete slabs. Above the bin, we see the pumpkin about to be disposed of. This is the disruption. This pumpkin was going to be discarded rather than repurposed when it still has so much life left.

The story has come back to equilibrium at last. The pumpkin is not wasted and instead has been reused and made into a flower pot. We see in this image the slightly withered pumpkin has been placed on soil and grass. An array of flowers are planted into the head and have sprouted out.