Online shopping experiment proves less than green


Believe me when I tell you I’m not a big buyer of online goods. I’m not a big buyer of any goods, really, and when I do get something new (clothes, household stuff) it tends to be secondhand. However, I recently turned to the intertube in my quest for a cotton shower curtain.

Why did I think I needed such a thing? Well, this is one of those things in the "green living" category that should really be reclassified as "healthy living," where you try to purge your environment of various toxins more for the sake of your own lungs and cells than for the sake of the planet. Vinyl shower curtains are bad for you, is what I’ve read. It’s the off-gassing thing.

One doesn’t really think of buying a secondhand shower curtain, now does one? Suspecting that locally owned stores might be out of my price range on this particular item, and wanting to avoid a big-box trek in my gas-burning vehicle, I thought I’d search online for a curtain. I soon realized that organic cotton curtains can run you more than $50, more than $100 if you have a high opinion of your bathroom. Too rich for my blood. I settled (with gritted teeth) on a non-organic cotton curtain from

This didn’t feel right, but I was already through checkout. (They make it so damn easy.) Two days later, thanks to the twin miracles of the Information Age and long-haul trucking, I had my cotton shower curtain, encased in multiple layers of plastic packaging. And it wasn’t at all like the website had showed it.

Target also makes it damn easy to return stuff. You can take it back to the store if you want. So I got in my gas-burning vehicle and trekked up to Hollymead and picked out a better curtain with my naked eye.

There must be a better way. Anyone know of a good source for secondhand shower curtains?