This blog post will tackle all the best approaches for the best and most environmentally sustainable ways to "dispose" an old mat and make conscious decisions regarding your old mats when deciding to invest in a new mat.
Reduce by using less. If you do not need something there's no need to get it or buy it from the first place as this way, you will be reducing a lot of energy and resources that can be put somewhere else. If you are new to yoga, buy something good now from the start, so you don't have to dispose in landfills later! Or ask to borrow someone's old mat until you know you want to practice more consistently.
IF YOU CAN'T REDUCE, THEN REUSE
When it comes to your old yoga mat, especially if it's PVC, it is not particularly recyclable, it becomes very hard to dispose it. Now you may wonder, then what can I do with it?! There could be so many reasons why you don't want to use your old yoga mat anymore. Some reasons could be that it slips so much in hot yoga, or stinks so much with hot yoga. Other reasons could be is that it is functional but may be coming apart a little and you just want to advance your practice. Well, this post will tackle this part.
IF YOU CANNOT REUSE, THEN RECYCLE
We are sure you can use some of the creative ideas stated below to reuse or give out your old yoga mats, so we hope you won't need to reach this last step as re-using is way better for the environment. Also, PVC yoga mats cannot be recycled! However, you can visit your local recycling agency to speak with the staff. They can offer some more advice, regarding reusing or disposing of old yoga mats, tailored to your specific region.
ALL THE WAYS TO REUSE AN OLD MAT:
We hear many people tell us about how they have some knee pain when the surface is hard. However, a less "fluffy" surface is actually a lot better for the wrists as the wrists don't sink and hyper-extend. As our yoga mats are backed with natural dense rubber, they are not as "fluffy" as the synthetics TPE, foam, PVC. With our 4.5mm yoga mats the cushioning is thick and great if your knees need the extra cushion! However, you can get even MORE cushioning when cutting out pieces of your old mat and you can use it as if they are another prop or accessory with your practice. Get into Ustrasana (Camel Pose) with ease just place some pads under your knees.
2. Donate to Animal Shelters
The owners of animal shelters will be happy to receive old yoga mats from you. These mats are used to make comfortable sleeping places for puppies, cats and adult dogs.
3. Donate to your local retirement community.
Call an elderly home nearby to see if they accept a yoga mat for donation. Many communities run yoga classes and could use more mats.
4. Give out gently used mats to someone new to yoga
Many people are discovering yoga every day. And when they start out the first thing they do is buy a PVC mat and add again to our waste and sometimes they don't continue their yoga practice more long term. Giving out gently used yoga mats for free is one of the best gifts a new yoga student can get.
5. Shelf liners
Perfect material for use as shelf liners. Give it a trial, and thank us later.
Old yoga mats come in handy when you go camping, fishing or hiking. Friends and family who spend time outdoors will be happy to take old yoga mats off your hands. For camping, it's perfect as a mat for the mud in front of your tent or under your sleeping bag
7. Heat blocker in the car
During summer you can lay an old yoga mat over your car's dashboard to reduce heat on the wheel from the sun.
8. Mouse Pad
Save some money for a mouse pad, cut up small pieces of a yoga mat, it works perfectly.
Make your shoes more comfortable by cutting up old yoga mats as insoles.
10. Artists may take them
Give old yoga mats to artists who make sculptures. They can provide a cushion for the knees while the artists’ work. Or even better, maybe they'll create an invention or an art piece ha! Art is rad.
11. Child safety flooring
Add more safety features to your children’s playroom by laying yoga mats on the floor and around the area.
12. Table's sharp edges
Protect young children from sharp edges on tables by covering them with yoga mats.
13. Lining pet carriers
Old yoga mats can be helpful to line pet carriers for pups.
Bring your old yoga mat to sit on outdoors- beach or picnics on grass.
15. Projects & Planning boards
Use old yoga mats placed over flat surfaces as planning boards to keep track of your domestic projects. You can stick notes and pictures to monitor the progress of your work.
16. Under flowerpots
Cut a pieces under your flowerpots or vases that could leak water, it can avoid seeping into the floor!
If all else fails, please find us at one of our coming up marketplaces or events! Sign up to our newsletter to know where we will be. We gladly accept old yoga mats as we can donate them here locally to charities and different organizations.
The Scoria Team