Yoga mats can last a surprisingly long time, which is fantastic given the potentially negative environmental impact of your mat. Sadly, the more affordable mats generally contain PVC, which is not the most environmentally-friendly substance to manufacture or dispose of. The alternatives tend to be quite expensive and may not be so easy to keep clean. In the case of rubber mats, they also come with a rather overpowering smell. However, when the time finally comes to say good bye, your mat doesn’t have to end up at the landfill site. I really dislike throwing things away if I can find a use for them, so here are some ideas for reducing the environmental impact of your unwanted mat by recycling it into new uses around the house and garden. Some are ways to use the whole mat, others will require a pair of sharp scissors and perhaps some glue or tape.
- Keep using it, underneath your new mat, to provide extra padding in class
- Line the boot of your car to keep it clean or as padding for pets
- Line your cat or dog’s bed to provide extra insulation and padding
- Cut out pieces to line terracotta plant pots in the garden. It will help reduce water loss in the summer and increase protection from frost in the winter.
- Keep in the car as an impromptu picnic ‘rug’
- Cut a piece to stick on a step stool for extra grip
- Fold up the mat into quarters (or less) and tape or stick in place to create a kneeling mat
- In the garden lay it over bare soil on new flower beds as a weed suppressant before you plant them up
- Use small pieces to protect wooden floors from table legs
- Pass it on; sell it on Ebay to make some money, advertise it on Freecycle or donate it to charity. You might be able to help out someone who can’t afford to buy a new mat.
If you have more ideas please share them!