Day 237 – Many yoga mats are made from PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride). Back on Day 179, I wrote about the harmful effects of PVC and its potential to lead to health issues. So, you can bet having a yoga mat made from PVC is not a wise choice. Here are a few examples of yoga mats made with safer and earth friendly materials. One brand is made from natural rubber, another natural cork and a third, recycled wetsuits.
Jade Yoga is the first brand in the US that makes yoga mats with natural rubber. When harvested sustainably, natural rubber is a renewable material that can decompose at the end of life. Jade Yoga provides tips for properly recycling / upcycling old yoga mats. Jade Yoga plants a tree for every yoga mat they sell—so far, they’ve planted more than two million trees with their partnership with Trees for the Future. They also have a Community Partners program where people who generally don’t have a chance to try yoga can receive a grant to do so.
This mat is made from a thin layer of natural cork on top of a natural rubber backing—both are biodegradable and renewable materials. Cork is naturally antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal, which means it requires minimal maintenance and won’t give off a bad smell. Cork is made from the bark of cork oak trees, mostly grown in Portugal. A cork oak tree stripped of its bark can absorb more CO2 in the regeneration process, so it actually helps combat climate change.
Suga recycles wetsuits into yoga mats. The name Suga comes from the combination of the words “surf” and “yoga”. Suga has diverted 12,500 wetsuits from the landfill. Not only are the mats made from recycled material, but they are also recyclable. When you are done with your old mat, you can send it back to Suga to make new ones. Suga mats are made in the US.
The next time you are in search of a new yoga mat, consider how healthy the mat is for you and the planet.
Tomorrow, celebrating the dogs.