A Beginners Guide: Finding an Eco Friendly Yoga Mat

Yoga has become an increasingly popular hobby, particularly in Australia over the last few decades. As a result, yoga mats have been in high demand - but have you ever thought about the environmental impact of all these plastic yoga mats? The answer might surprise you, and will explain why so many Australians are now opting for eco yoga mats, as opposed to synthetic PVC.

It’s a fact that environmental pollution in Australia has been drastically increasing. Marine life and other wildlife are at a higher risk due to a large amount of plastic-related pollution. An average Australian consumes as much as 130kg of Plastic in a single year, and quite surprisingly, only 9% of that plastic consumed will go for recycling.

Where will the remaining 91% plastic go? It would most likely end up in our oceans where aquatic animals will consume them, and we, in turn, will eat them as sea-food, forming a whole contaminated food chain.

How Are Yoga Mats Related To Plastic Pollution?

The answer lies within the build material used inside our Yoga Mats.

Yoga Mats are composed of mainly PVC material due to its durability and low price. The PVC stands for “Polyvinyl Chloride,” which is made from petroleum. Now, the PVC material is not as soft as the manufacturers require for a yoga mat, so they add Phthalates to make it smoother and bendy. Phthalates are severely harmful and can cause cancer – and since they are not chemically infused into your yoga mat, you are at a high risk of Phthalates exposure.

Now, if we talk about the PVC portion of most commercial yoga mats, it gets even worse. PVC is already considered one of the most toxic plastic materials available for commercial use. It’s harmful both for us and for the innocent living creatures around us in the land and sea.


Eco Yoga Mat Yogi Walking through field with yoga mat basket white clothews

How To Buy An Eco Friendly Yoga Mat?

I hope that we have changed your mind about harmful yoga mats. Now it’s time to step forward and buy a yoga mat that is non-hazardous for everyone. You’re probably wondering what qualities make you should be looking for in an eco friendly yoga mat:
  • It should be recyclable.
  • It shouldn’t contain any toxic materials.
  • It should be PVC free.
  • It should be made minimal any electricity.
  • It should be washable and long-lasting.
  • It should be composed of natural materials.
  • It should be handwoven.
  • It should be Latex-free.
  • It should be UV-resistant.
These are the traits that an eco-friendly yoga mat should possess. While some of these traits may appear to be common sense, it's quickly becomes clear just how different the construction of an eco yoga mat is to a synthetic plastic mat. Given this information, it quickly becomes clear just how essential an eco yoga mat is for the more environmentally and health conscious yogis. Now lets dive deeper in to some of the key features of eco friendly yoga mats.

Recycling Is Life:

When you recycle a product, you give it another life, another chance to serve its purpose. Buy yoga mats that are made with recyclable elements. Try to use your mat for a more extended amount of time instead of changing it frequently.

Natural Materials Are Crucial:

There are some excellent PVC yoga mat alternatives. You might need a good-day search, but these eco-friendly yoga mats are trending in Australia too.

Let’s discuss what materials we can find in an environment-friendly yoga mat.

Cork:

You might see these in your champagne bottles, but who knew that cork is an excellent build-material for eco-friendly yoga mats. Cork yoga mats give you a firm surface grip even when you are full of sweat. It can be cleaned easily too.

The only bad thing about cork yoga mats is their weight, which is heavier than typical yoga mats.

Jute:

This wild plant can be the key to buying a cool eco-friendly yoga mat. Jute is highly biodegradable, making it a perfect material for our yoga mats. It’s also light-weight, unlike the cork ones. A jute mat can cost less too. 

On the negative side, jute can sometimes release an unpleasant odor. Thankfully most yoga mats made from this material now come with anti-microbial polygiene stay fresh technology, which completely negates this issue, can prolongs the life of the mat.

Rubber:

Natural tree rubber mats are one of the most useful eco-friendly mats for your yoga. The yogis love it. It’s perfectly thick, readily available everywhere, light on your pocket, and one of the most durable yoga mats you could ask for. A natural tree rubber mat is biodegradable, and you can recycle it too. Its firm grip doesn’t let the yogi slip, and the smooth surface is comfortable for yoga both indoors and outdoors.

Thermoplastic Elastomer –An Excellent PVC Mat Alternative:

The TPE mats are an excellent alternative to a regular PVC yoga mat. The good thing is that it is almost identical to the PVC mats, but it does not contain any PVC toxins like chloride and lead. It doesn’t even contain rubber and latex.

The TPE mats are bio-degradable and light-weight. They are non-irritating and provide you a firm grip during your yoga.

TPE mats' only disadvantage is that they are made synthetically, too, consuming electricity and other heat processes during its production.

White Top Yogi Woman Lying on Eco Friendly Yoga Mat Australia

Now that we’ve covered the different types of eco friendly yoga mats available in Australia, you should have an ample amount of research to choose the perfect eco-friendly yoga mat for your living situation. We are blessed to live in a time where eco friendly yoga mats are so readily available, and there is really no excuse to use a PVC plastic mat, given that wonderful alternatives available.  Hopefully in the near future plastic yoga mats will be phased out, and everybody around the world will be using eco friendly yoga mats that don’t harm the environment and our water ways. Hopefully this article offered a comprehensive guide on eco yoga mats, and why they make an excellent substitution to synthetic plastic.

Stay fit, stay active, and do your part to keep our Earth clean.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published