Eco-friendly yoga mats seem to be everywhere these days. You’ll see that most workout equipment is labelled ‘eco friendly’. With the growing concern about climate change, it is no surprise that brands have adapted products to meet this increase in environmental awareness.
It’s great that eco-friendly products are becoming more popular. There is a catch. In many cases, brands will advertise their products as “eco-friendly” for their own benefit, even though they are manufactured using materials and processes which are not sustainable. It’s therefore important to distinguish between eco-friendly products that are sold by brands who have a self-interested motive and those which are not.
The Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat Guide
You are probably already aware enough of the environmental impact that each purchase has on our planet.
This guide will help you to understand what makes a mat eco-friendly, and what you should look for when buying one to ensure that it is non-slip and thick enough to improve your practice. It is also important to know how to avoid purchasing from brands that label their products as ‘eco-friendly’ for marketing purposes, and instead buy from a company with good intentions and ethical values.
Sustainable yoga mat
You can distinguish between eco-friendly and non-eco mats by checking their composition. This information will appear in the description of the mat or the title if you are shopping online. When you are in a store looking for mats, you can find this information by simply reading the label.
The majority of mats are made from plastic materials such as PVC or foam because they are more affordable and easier to find. It is essential to look for eco-friendly yoga mats. Plastics such as these, which are often made using fossil fuels to create them, cause a problem in our oceans. They also build up in landfills and release toxic chemicals, polluting the earth long after they have been thrown away.
No matter what the label says or how the mat is described, these products are not environmentally friendly. These mats are attractive because they have bright colors and beautiful patterns. They are also thicker and cheaper than more eco-friendly, natural options. The mats are not durable and are made with materials that are produced using industrial processes which are not sustainable.
These mats are not as dense or foamy, and their texture is not enough to provide you with the cushioning you need for your joints. The texture of these mats will be foamy and spongy. They won’t provide enough padding for your joints, unless they’re thick (8mm+). We’ve created a guide on how to determine the right thickness for a yoga mat. You can find it here.
Choose a mat that is made from sustainable materials such as natural rubber, cotton, cork or jute. These mats are non-slip and durable, as well as providing the necessary padding. These materials are also recyclable and biodegradable. If you are looking for a new mat to purchase, keep in mind that natural rubber is the best option.
The Eco-Friendly Checklist
Below is a checklist that will help you choose the right eco-yoga mat.
Choose a mat which:
Made from natural materials sourced sustainably
They are dense and durable so you can use them longer.
Ideal can be used both sides, so you don’t have to buy a new mat if one side starts to lose its grip.
Is it recyclable or even biodegradable?
Look for low-emissions and zero-waste/waste-reducing processes. You can find these details in the product description, so don’t dig too deep.
Look for mats that are made without any industrial glue or toxic dyes. You don’t want anything toxic to touch your body regularly, and you want to avoid products that release toxic chemicals into the environment during production or after they have been discarded.
Make sure the packaging of the mat is recyclable or does not contain plastic.
You can also support brands that give back to the planet by supporting organisations that preserve nature, or running their own carbon offset/tree-planting programs. These details are also clearly stated in the product description. It is a sign that the brand from which you’re considering purchasing does not engage in these practices.
Ask the seller for more details about what makes their mats environmentally friendly if you are unsure. You can tell a lot about a company’s customer service by how quickly they respond and the amount of information that they provide.
Recycle your yoga mat
How do you recycle a yoga mat once it has been used? You might want to consider giving it away if it’s in good condition. Some community centres and homeless shelters will accept used yoga mats. You can also donate them to charity shops to raise funds for a worthy cause.
If it is no longer useful, you’ll need to look for another solution.
Your old mat can be recycled into something useful and new. It is easier to recycle yoga mats made from natural rubber. Contact your local recycling center to find out what options you have. You can send the mat to TerraCycle if it is not recyclable.
It’s also important that you make sure the new mat you choose is recyclable or biodegradable so you won’t run into the same problem again.
Find the Sweet Spot: An Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat that is Good for Your Practice
It’s said that the best option for sustainability is what you already have.
Yoga mats are not the only thing you should buy. Keep this in mind. If you’re looking for a durable mat that you can use in your yoga practice, then you should choose one that is both good and durable.
We want to select eco-friendly yoga mats and fitness mats for our yoga practice and for the sake of the environment. A mat may be truly eco-friendly and made with sustainable materials, but it might not have the quality of a good yoga mat. You may invest in the most environmentally-friendly mat, but still slip on it, struggle to unroll and roll it, or experience joint pain because it is not thick enough.
This guide on choosing a mat will give you tips to help you find a mat that is eco-friendly, but also has the features you require to take your practice to the next step. As a rule, you should pay attention to the product specifications, such as the mat’s non-slip surface, its thickness, which is ideally 4mm and how easy it is to transport to and from the yoga studio. You should also look for reviews with 4.5 or higher stars, indicating that other customers are happy with the quality of the mat.