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Get in Gear: Eco-Friendly Mats

Who wants to do their Downward Facing Dog on PVC (polyvinyl chloride)? It's a toxic plastic that's used to make many sticky mats. According to Greenpeace, PVC products that are being disposed of within a few years of use, are causing serious waste problems since these and other plastics don't biodegrade quickly. In response to this growing PVC crisis, many manufacturers are beginning to make environmentally friendly mats using natural fibers like jute, cotton, and rubber.

Not only are these mats biodegradable, and free of hazardous chemicals, but their makers say they provide more traction. Other mats made of plastic take a few washings and hours of practice to get rid of the chemical sheen, not to mention the stinky smell.

Since practicing yoga and Pilates is doing good for you, why not use a mat that does good for the environment as well? By choosing environmentally friendly products, you are doing your part to support the movement toward a healthier, sustainable planet. Here are some of my favorites:

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allisonblue allisonblue 8 years
I'm in the market for a new mat, and love these suggestions for eco-friendly mats. Does anyone know how easy these -- especially the Saka -- are to clean? I practice Bikram yoga, so my mat gets super sweaty (and can get moldy, too -- ew) if I don't throw it in the washing machine with a little bit of Woolite every now and again.
nikolem2 nikolem2 8 years
I also use an eco-friendly Pilates mat from Gaiam. I love it! You can also donate your old mats--someone else will surely want to use it. Gaiam.com also has a section on their site full of consumer-created ways to reuse your old yoga mat.
greeneydmonster greeneydmonster 8 years
if you already have one of the plastic mats, dont toss it! you can hold onto it and cut it into squares to use to keep your furniture from skidding! i use squares of this under the casters on my bed.
ktacce ktacce 8 years
i'm sad i've got a plastic one... guess i'll switch when it gets too gross.
beingtazim beingtazim 8 years
i have the one on the far left (first one) and it is so perfect!
beingtazim beingtazim 8 years
i have the one on the far left (first one) and it is so perfect!
krampalicious krampalicious 8 years
Thanks for these! I've been needing a new yoga mat for forever, and now I've got to get my hands on one of those traditional cotton ones...
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