This Is How To Recycle Your Yoga Mat

It seems like cute new yoga mat designs come out every week, leaving your once-favorite option alone in the corner. If you've been practicing yoga for an extended period of time, you likely have a few old mats sitting around collecting dust. Keep an extra one of these mats on standby, but consider these ways to properly recycle or downcycle your other mats.

However, properly disposing of your old materials can be rather difficult. Recycle Nation explains that cheap mats often consist of PVC that can easily emit toxic chemicals while you practice on them. Furthermore, the material is incredibly difficult to recycle. Unfortunately, this type of material will never break down, the outlet notes. While it sits in a landfill, it leaks harmful chemicals into the ground. On the other hand, if it burns, the air becomes incredibly toxic. It's best to avoid these types of mats and opt for greener materials that you can more safely use as well as recycle. The outlet also notes that finding places that reuse your old mat offers an easier option that's eco-friendly and philanthropic.

All-natural rubber mats have become readily available and popular among yogis. Once you've found one that you like, note whether or not the company has a down-cycling program to properly recycle your mat. The outlet notes that Jade Yoga and Manduka both offer these services.

Use yoga mats that don't have synthetic ingredients

Because many mats are not biodegradable, those that only use natural materials are actually recyclable. "As long as they don't have synthetic materials mixed in with them, they are biodegradable," Kaméa Chayne, a Duke-certified integrative health coach, tells PopSugar. However, if you think you have one that's made of PVC or other toxic substances, she recommends checking TerraCycle, a company that helps people repurpose many non-recyclable items. Otherwise, both Jade Yoga and Manduka take their mats back to downcycle and put them back into other products.

You can also use your old mats around your home as a way to cheaply recycle. The outlet notes that these items work well as non-slip carpet or bathtub backings and even outdoor seating. Simply chop up your old mats into squares to use as little cushions when you're in the yard.

Lastly, look around your area for organizations or studios who may want your old practice buddy if it's in good condition. Recycle Nation recommends trying a thrift store or offering your mat to a studio near you that would like mats for new students. While they can be difficult to fully recycle, yoga mats can find new lives in different homes and studios if you take the time to look for them. Otherwise, try to find an organization that can help you properly dispose of it before you toss it in the trash.