With more and more people getting into wellness and mindfulness, the practice of yoga has become much more popular, and with it the need for yoga mats. And while yoga truly is relaxing and comes with a host of health benefits, getting rid of old yoga mats can pose a challenge to many.
I mean, what do you even do about these mats? Can you recycle them? Should you just throw them away? Well, that’s what we are going to discuss today.
Are yoga mats recyclable?
Yes, yoga mats can be recycled. However, recycling them is not easy.
Why is it hard to recycle yoga mats?
Most yoga mats are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a plastic that is very difficult to recycle. Also, even if your local recycling program accepts PVC, it most likely won’t accept yoga mats.
However, some yoga companies accept yoga mats for recycling. These include LoveEarth in Australia and JadeYoga in the United States. The latter even gives away mats that are still in good shape to retirement homes and community centers.
Another company that helps with yoga mat recycling is California-based Sanuk. It recycles yoga mats to create sandals and wedges for women – one of the most innovative solutions out there. However, their website has no information on how they collect their yoga mats, indicating that they have specific sources and don’t accept individual recyclers.
To ensure that you can recycle your mats after use, always buy them from companies that provide this service.
How can you reuse old yoga mats?
If you aren’t in a position to recycle your old yoga mat, worry not, you can easily reuse it. Some of the ways you can do this include:
Like JadeYoga, you can always donate old yoga mats. You could give them to your local yoga studio, students who need them, or even thrift stores.
Use them as doormats
Old yoga mats can be really effective doormats. Not only are they great for holding dirt from your guests’ shoes, but they are also easy to clean.
Use them as liners
Due to their texture, yoga mats can effectively hold things in place. As such, they can be used to line your drawers or shelves.
To use them for this purpose, all you have to do is measure them to the right size, cut them out, and fit them into place.
Alternatively, you can place them under your rug to provide padding and avoid slippage.
Use them as kneeling pads
If you regularly garden, your old yoga mats can really help you protect your knees when working. You can fold them over a few times or even cut them to a suitable size to ensure that they are more conducive for gardening.
Ultimately, the best way to ensure that you are not stuck with an old PVC mat is not to get one in the first place.
Instead, go for biodegradable options like Manduka and Yagasana Mats. While the former makes their mats from natural rubber, the latter makes theirs from cotton. Whichever way you go though, you would have made a significant step forward in your sustainability journey.