Yoga mats are quite durable, so you might not need to replace them often. However, if the need arises, there are multiple ways to dispose of them.
The best way to dispose of a yoga mat is to donate it. Otherwise, there are multiple ways you can reuse them.
Although yoga mats are made from PVC, recycling is not a good idea.
Ways to Dispose of Yoga Mats
Currently, there are very limited options for recycling yoga mats. Only a few companies recycle used yoga mats to create shoes or new mats.
However, there are multiple ways to reuse yoga mats.
Yoga mats are highly durable and can last for years.
You can therefore reuse them in multiple ways. If you don’t want to reuse and just want to dispose of them, you can consider donating.
Let’s take a look at your options for disposing of a yoga mat:
Recycling Yoga Mat
Yoga mats are made from thermoplastic elastomers or (TPE) polyvinyl chloride (PVC). These products make yoga mats recyclable.
However, these mats are also made from various flame retardants and color dyes. Hence, they are difficult to break down and recycle.
Not to mention, your sweat from your sessions also contaminates these mats. This will thus contaminate other recycled products too.
It is not the best idea to recycle yoga mats or get them recycled from a plant. However, you can still contact a recycling plant to ask if they recycle yoga mats.
Some recycling plants actually recycle yoga mats and turn them into cushions and other materials. Other plants may melt the mats and use them for something else.
You should hence call your nearest recycling facility. If they take yoga mats, thoroughly clean them first and then drop them off.
Donating Yoga Mats
Another great option for disposing of yoga mats is to donate them simply. This is a good option since yoga mats are quite sturdy and durable.
Some homeless shelters tend to take yoga mats and other such plush materials. This is because they can use such objects to create makeshift bedding for homeless individuals.
This is especially true if such shelters become overcrowded. Hence, it is always a good idea to contact homeless shelters.
In fact, other nonprofit organizations might also accept it. They would likely reuse these mats for yoga and meditation.
Since yoga helps with relaxation and peace of mind, many institutions promote it. You would be surprised to know how many, which is why it is worth calling and asking them.
There are many institutions that actually teach trauma survivors and children yoga and meditation. Hence, you can consider donating your mat to them if it is in usable condition.
Moreover, you can also contact animal shelters to see if they accept these donations. Some underfunded and overcrowded animal shelters might accept them.
They would use the yoga mats for bedding for the animals. They may also use them for transportation of injured and small animals in them.
If you want to help animals and such shelters, it would be worthwhile to contact them. The bigger organizations might not take them, but the smaller ones definitely will.
Hence, you should contact homeless shelters, substance abuse shelters, and such nonprofit institutions. Find out if they accept such donations and could use yoga mats.
You can also contact your government authorities to see if they have recycling programs for yoga mats. Bigger cities do since they reuse them at public schools and other organizations.
Lastly, you can also consider contacting thrift stores. Consider doing this if your yoga mat is still in good condition and gently used.
In such a case, you can sell or donate it to them. Similarly, if your yoga mat is in really good condition, you can give it to yoga studios.
Some yoga studios might accept them and use them for their students. This is especially true if they have been gently or rarely used.
While this is a long shot, you could also sell your yoga mat on Craigslist. This might take some time, and there’s a chance people might not buy it.
If they do, you should ensure that your yoga mat is clean and in good condition. You must thoroughly clean your yoga mat before donating it.
You should keep the mat under running water in a sink or large tub to do this. Then, squirt a few tablespoons of liquid soap.
Using a cloth or sponge, thoroughly clean the yoga meat under running water. Do it all over, and then flip and clean the other side.
Once that is done, rinse the mat to remove all the soap. Then, let it dry under direct sunlight. Some mats can also be washed and cleaned in the washing machine.
You should look up the cleaning instructions for your yoga mat’s brand. This will help you determine whether or not you can clean it in the machine.
You must clean your yoga mat if you are donating, reusing, or recycling it.
Reusing Yoga Mats
If your yoga mat is not in great condition, you can repurpose and upcycle it. This is also a good option if you cannot donate it anywhere or recycle it.
There are many ways to reuse old yoga mats. Here’s a look at some of them:
Make Kneepads Out of Them
A unique and quirky way to reuse your yoga mat is to create kneepads out of them. The soft and thick material of yoga mats is perfect for this.
You can cut up the yoga mat and use it to protect your knees. This will be particularly helpful if you want to continue yoga.
You can easily do the camel pose without hurting your knees if you have kneepads. If you buy a new yoga mat, you can continue using these kneepads.
They will give you extra cushion and comfort!
The material for yoga mats is perfect to use for shelf liners. You can place them on your shelf and place décor items on them.
The material will give the objects a great cushion, look good, and prevent them from slipping. Try it out, and you won’t regret it.
Cut up some pieces of the yoga mat into rectangles or square shapes. Then, you can use them as mousepads.
They work great for a mouse. Not to mention, you will also be saving extra costs.
Non-Slip Furniture Pads
Another cost-effective way to reuse yoga mats is to use them as furniture pads. Don’t get those felt furniture pads that go under chairs, tables, etc.
Instead, you can simply cut up the yoga mat and use it for this purpose. They grip the floor well and will not scratch the hardwood either.
Set It in Your Trunk
If you tend to keep things in your truck, you can consider this tip. It is an easy and useful way to use your old yoga mat.
Simply remove all the items in your trunk and clean it. Once done, place the yoga mat on it.
You may need to cut it up to fit properly in the trunk. You can easily place items in the trunk if you have placed a yoga mat there.
They will not slip or move in such cases.
Place it under Your Sleeping Bag
If you go camping often, you can use your yoga mat. It has a soft material, can be folded, and is easily transported anywhere.
Instead of sleeping with your bag on the ground, you can place your yoga mat underneath. This will give you a comfortable cushion and help you sleep better.
People with neck or back pain can significantly benefit from this. It is a great way to reuse an old yoga mat for people who cannot sleep on hard surfaces.
Placemat for Your Pet’s Food Bowls
When you don’t have any use of your yoga mat, you can use it as a placement for food bowls. Your pet’s food bowls tend to slip or move while eating.
This is a good way to keep them in place. Simply cut up the mat and set the food and water bowls on top of it.
You can even keep your cat’s litter box on top of these mats. This will keep them from sliding away.
The entryway of Your House
Yoga mats are designed to be water-resistant. This is why they are great for keeping at entryways of your house.
When you come in with dirty or wet shoes, they can absorb it all and protect your floor. You can even set it next to your bathtub to keep you from slipping.
There are multiple ways you can dispose of a yoga mat. If it has been gently used, you can consider donating it.
Recycling might not be an option for most people. Instead, they can reuse it for multiple purposes.
The next time you buy a yoga mat, you should consider other companies. For example, from companies that can take your used yoga mat back and recycle it.
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