How To Recycle Your Yoga Mat?
Yoga mats are not infinite, like many other things in life. Maybe you haven’t asked yourself this question before getting your yoga mat, but how can you recycle a yoga mat? The answer to this question depends on what material your yoga mat is made of. There are numerous opportunities to recycle yoga mats and even more ways to repurpose your yoga mat. Read on further to learn how can you recycle your yoga mat, and to find out some creative solutions to repurpose your yoga mat!
Recyclability of PVC and TPE Yoga Mats
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The most widely used material in most of the inexpensive yoga mats on the market is PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and TPE (thermoplastic elastomer). Albeit these materials keep the production costs low (which is good for mass production), and are not sticky (which eases up the yoga practice experience), there are some downsides.
The main downside to PVC and TPE yoga mats is that they are very bad for the environment. This kind of material is full of toxic chemicals such as cadmium, lead, and phthalates. The mentioned chemicals are bad for the ground as well as for the air around us.
Another bad thing about PVC and TPE yoga mats is their high difficulty and cost of recycling. Some businesses are able to recycle these yoga mats and create vinyl siding and gift cards. More often than not, this endeavor is very difficult to reproduce, which destroys the worth of this method.
Well, even though it is very difficult to recycle PVC and TPE yoga mats, it is of utmost importance to keep them out of the waste chain. You see, these yoga mats will stay the same for hundreds of years, polluting the air above, and the ground beneath. For more information on recycling PVC and TPE yoga mats, check with your local recyclers.
Recyclability of Other Yoga Mat Types
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Thankfully, not all yoga mats are created from PVC and TPE. Actually, more and more yoga manufacturers are being mindful about the environment, and are developing eco-friendly, recyclable yoga mats.
One such type of yoga mats is natural rubber yoga mats. They are marketed as all-natural, with no pollutants inside. If you have latex allergies, stay away from this type of yoga mats, as they can induce this type of allergic reaction!
You can find recyclable yoga mats that include a combination of polyolefin and polyester, with a key twist - they are biodegradable. At least, that is what Barefoot Yoga Company claims.
Other than the mentioned two, another popular recyclable yoga mat alternative is cotton yoga mats. Just type in that keyword in your favorite search engine, and an enormous amount of results will pop up.
It is good to know that more yoga mat manufacturers are getting conscious about the environment. Now, how can you do your part in this chain?
How To Recycle Your Yoga Mat?
In this section, we have listed all the yoga mat recycling programs that we could find. One of them is discontinued, but we just want to mention it because of its ambition. We are sorry to hear that it has turned out to be a failure. Nevertheless, there are still some companies that are keeping it strong with their recycling programs, and we are glad to hear that.
JadeYoga had a very popular yoga mat recycling program that has sadly, fallen apart. They were in close partnership with yoga studios in over 19 US states. The procedure would go in a way that the studios would collect unnecessary yoga mats and return them to JadeYoga. Then, JadeYoga would give away good-quality yoga mats to retirement homes, community centers, and other places where people practice yoga. Non-reuseable yoga mats would be recycled, with new yoga mats being created from them. On the other hand, JadeYoga would return PVC and TPE mats to specialized recyclers who could shred and melt them to create new products.
Sanuk, a Californian footwear company offers a creative yoga mat recycling solution. The company creates flip-flops and sandals for women from throw-away yoga mats, with a wide range of styles that you can check out here!
LovEarth is an Australia-based company that runs a yoga mat recycling program. They sell eco-friendly yoga mats and offer a return and recycle policy for all their customers.
Manduka has the LiveOn recycling program for yoga mats, which is perfectly reflected by its name, as they collect old yoga mats and recycle them.
Suga is a company that creates yoga mats from recycled wetsuits. You can return yoga mats to them so that they can recycle and create new yoga mats.
Kiss the Sky is a company that creates yoga mats from recycled rubber and takes their mats for recycling into new ones.
And the last program on our list is no less ambitious, and it comes from Basically Perfect. This company claims that their cork and rubber-made yoga mats are compostable and biodegradable, a process that takes a couple of months.
Now, we know that you may not be able to be a part of the mentioned yoga mat recycling programs for a variety of reasons. So, how can you recycle your yoga mat then? Let’s look from a different perspective!
How To Re-Use Yoga Mats?
If you cannot recycle your yoga mat, you can always repurpose them, or hand them away. The number of uses yoga mats provide is astonishing! Here are just a few of the things you can do with your yoga mat:
- Donate your unwanted yoga mat to a non-profit or other organization that may require it, like the Red Cross.
- You can donate your yoga mat to a local yoga studio, as they could always use a new yoga mat.
- Sell your yoga mat online.
- Create a mouse pad from a yoga mat.
- Put a yoga mat under furniture or rugs to keep them from slipping.
- You can put a yoga mat in the bathroom to make the floor less slippery after a shower.
- Use a yoga mat as a doormat which is incredibly easy to clean.
- You can use a yoga mat as a liner for kitchen drawers or on bookshelves.
- Cut yoga mats in squares to use them as outdoor seating.
- Place a yoga mat under pet food to keep it from moving around.
- Create a kneeling pad for gardening.
- Use a yoga mat as a grip for tight jar lids.
- Create a pet-friendly surface for a car.
- Use beneath a sleeping bag to soften up the surface.
Now that you know how to recycle and repurpose your yoga mat, why don’t you play around with our custom yoga mat designer for free?
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