I love Pinterest. I get so many good ideas for crafts to do with my kids, crafts for myself, decorating ideas…I love it. But every once in a while, I come across a pin that makes me wonder what the heck the pinners were thinking, and what the original blogger could have been smoking at the time they posted an idea.
So I’m scrolling through Pinterest this morning, and I see the same thing pinned over and over and over again on this gardening community board that I follow:
And pin after pin has the comment: “Plant seeds in ice cream cone and plant in the ground!”
I also saw pinners commenting that it was an “environmentally friendly” or “Earth-friendly” idea.
Let’s look at this from two directions: usefulness and “green-ness”.
Uh, no. Have you ever eaten ice cream from one of these store-bought cake-type ice cream cones? What happens when the ice cream starts melting? The cone turns to mush, right? Can you imagine having a flat of seeds planted in these?! You would have an oozing, smelly, mushy mess in no time.
Also, stability. I know, they have flat bases. But anything that has a wider top than bottom is going to have stability issues. And when you add the mush factor (mentioned above) you’re looking at an unstable seed starting situation, at best.
This is where pins like this really make me crazy. First off, taking edible things that are still edible and planting them is wasting food, and that bothers me (yes, even if it is junk food, mass-produced…it’s still food.)
Secondly…these cones don’t grow on trees. There is a whole manufacturing process behind them. MadeHow.com has a detailed post explaining how these cones are manufactured. Go ahead and take a look. I’ll wait.
So we’ve got plenty of resources involved in the making of these things: the water and petro-chemicals used to grow the original wheat, the fuel used to move the grain from field to processing to the factory that actually makes the cones, the energy and water used to produce the actual cones (not to mention the necessary packaging), the fuel used to get these cones from the factory to their distribution centers to your grocery store to your home…..
And planting them in your garden makes you a GREEN gardener? Are you kidding me with this shit?
There are plenty of ways to avoid buying pre-made nursery pots or flats if you’d like to be able to plant something directly in your garden:
- Use empty toilet paper rolls (via YouGrowGirl)
- Make newspaper pots (via Organic Gardening magazine)
- Plant your seeds in empty egg shells (via Apartment Therapy)
- Use citrus halves as seed starting containers (via My Roman Apartment)
These are all actual GREEN plantable seed starting container options. We take the “garbage” produced from some other aspect of our lives and, rather than throwing it away, we use it for something else. This is green. This is eco-friendly.
Planting seeds in ice cream cones is not.
But Wait! It Gets Better
I did some digging to see what genius came up with this idea in the first place so I could give them a piece of my mind. The original image was posted on a Tumblr blog called “The Small Object.” You can see the original post here. It looked like a planter to me, not an actual ice cream cone, so I went to Google.
So I went back to Pinterest. The first few pinners seemed to actually get it: “cute planter!” “this is such a pretty planter!”
At some point in the Pinterest universe, this very pretty little faux bois planter turned into an “eco-friendly” way to use manufactured ice cream cones as seed starting containers.
And that, my dears, is why knowing the original source and/or intent of a pin is important. Please pin responsibly.