Don't toss those worn-out yoga mats. Health.com has some great ideas for reusing them.
By Su Reid-St. John
If you've just eked your millionth sun salutation out of that thin, raggedy rectangle you call a mat, it might be time to spring for a new one. But what to do with the old? Certainly, you could recycle it or even donate it if it isn't too far gone, or you could tap your inner Martha and try a little creative repurposing:
1. Hang it horizontally in your garage to keep car doors from scraping the walls.
2. Use it as a kitchen mat in front of the stove or sink.
3. Lay it under your sleeping bag on your next camping trip; it won't provide much in the way of cushioning, but at least you won't feel every rock and stick.
4. Scrub the heck out of it, then cut it up as liners for shelves and drawers.
5. Make it into floor covers for the backseat area so your kids' muddy shoes and cleats won't ruin your mats.
6. Carpet the tree house!
7. Cut it into small circles and use them under furniture legs to protect the floor.
8. Wrap it around that attic beam or basement pole you keep running into.
9. Put it under the litter box so the cat won't track stuff all over the floor.
10. Cut it to fit under slippery rugs to keep them in place.
11. Put it under the stationary bike or treadmill to protect the floor from sweat- and machine-induced scratches.
12. Line the floor of Fido's crate to make your pooch more comfortable.
13. Lay it on the laundry room floor in front of the dryer so dropped clothes stay clean.
14. Cut it into circles and use them as jar openers.
15. Put a piece in the trunk of your car to keep groceries, boxes, and sports equipment from banging around.
16. Put a square under your pet's food and water dishes to keep the bowls from skittering (and splashing) all over the floor.
17. Cut out shapes of fruits, veggies, and animals, and put them to work as hot pads under pots and pans.
18. Use it as a kneeling pad to keep your knees happy and clean when you're working in the garden.
19. Lay it by the pool so your feet don't get all grassy (or cement fried) when you step out.
20. Roll it out under your beach towel—that sand is always harder than it looks, isn't it?
21. Cut it into circles to put under leaky planters and flowerpots to protect the furniture or floor.
22. Use it as a cushioned drop cloth for your next big painting or refurbishing project.
23. Trim out a large rectangle, fold it in half, stuff some newspaper or foam in between, and use Crazy Glue to seal the sides. Voilà: a stadium seat pad!
24. Wrap pieces of it around sharp chair legs, table corners, and fireplace hearths for instant baby proofing.
25. Let the kids use their safety scissors to cut out fun shapes and glue magnets to the backs.
26. Cut it up into new mouse pads for everyone in the house.
(Many thanks to Ed Adams, Susan Emack Alison, Leslie Barrie, Sandy Skinner Dangel, Amy Gorin, Mara Hamner, Annie Krueger, Tiffany Melanis, and RoseAnna Schick for their brilliant contributions to this list!)