ECO FRIENDLY LIFE: WHY AND HOW TO CHOOSE AN ECO FRIENDLY YOGA MAT
When I first started practising yoga I just wanted to use a cheap mat. I paid $5 or $10 AUD for a very cheap basic plastic mat in a $2 dollars shop. As I got more into yoga and started becoming interested on sustainable living I started giving more importance to this type of decisions. If you are reading this, you are probably on the same path. What I would like to tell you is: If you are going to invest on a mat don’t go for the cheapest and definitely don’t choose a plastic mat. Why? 2 key reasons: The first one is that a cheap yoga mat won’t give you the practical benefits that a high quality mat will provide (read my post "How to choose the best yoga mat" to know more about key features in yoga mat) and the second one: choose a sustainable” material that will be safe for you and for the planet.
Why not a plastic mat? Plastic mats are made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), a type of thermoplastic polymer. It is used for yoga mats because is cheap to produce and it can become soft and flexible by adding phthalates, a chemical that can have negative impact on your health if you are exposed to it regularly. PVC is the most environmentally damaging of all the plastics because it releases toxic chlorine-based chemicals throughout its whole lifecycle, on manufacturing, use and disposal. It is also more expensive and difficult to recycle due to the amount of chemicals used for its production and therefore less likely to be recycled.
While plastic is the cheapest alternative, there are fortunately other materials that provide not only a functional benefit but are also cleaner for the environment and safer for your health. Natural rubber and Jute are a great alternative.
Why Jute? Jute is an eco friendly fiber that needs little intervention to grow, it needs less water an no chemicals for its production. It is biodegradable and compostable but are also strong and durable. While on the sustainability side performs great the cons are on the functionality side as it is thin and provides less cushion and the surface can feel a bit rough for the skin. I used during a training and they are good for standing postures but might not feel very comfortable when your weight is on elbows or knees.
Why natural rubber? Unlike the synthetic rubber, which is made from petroleum-based chemicals, natural rubber is produced from a milky liquid, called latex, which is extracted from the “rubber tree”. Natural rubber is an eco-friendly material, biodegradable and recyclable. The production process has less impact on the environment.
The collection and processing of natural rubber is a manual process, which means production of natural rubber can't meet the consumer demand and it also explains why natural rubber products are more expensive than synthetic rubber.
Canvasmat yoga mats are a great eco-friendly option, made of 100% biodegradable natural rubber with a microfiber suede surface that is recyclable. They are gentler with the environment than PVC mats and provide superior functionality: great cushion, durability and a non slip surface. They are suitable for any yoga style and ideal for hot yoga as the suede absorbs the sweat and provides great grip when your hands are sweaty. the By choosing our Canvasmat mats you are preferring high quality that last for longer, does not generate waste for the Earth nor damage for your body.
High Quality For You. Low Impact For The Planet.