When purchasing an Eco Friendly Yoga mat, make sure the mat is made of natural plant materials that are non-toxic and are completely biodegradable. These need to be free of dyes and glues and are friendly to the earth and your body.
Many yoga mats on the market today are labeled as being eco-friendly. Some of these mats are made using the following materials:
- PER (Polymer Environmental Resin) – this is a substance that starts out as PVC but has plasticisers and stabilisers added to it. It is quite hard to find information on PER, but our take is that it might be less harmful than PVC is, but is possibly still toxic. It also makes no claims to be biodegradable.
- TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) – this substance is a mixture of rubber and plastic. The term thermoplastic elastomer is rather vague and could mean many things, but the bottom line is that TPE is a blend of synthetic materials that are not disclosed, not studied, and not proven safe.
- EVA (Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate) – made from non-renewable petrochemicals. EVA is generally considered safe but it takes hundreds of years to decompose in landfill.
- Micro-fibre topped yoga mats – microfibre is a petroleum-based product. Some of these mats are touted as being machine washable. The problem with washing microfibre is that it is contributing to the micro plastic problem in our oceans. Micro-fibre is not biodegradable and many of these mats are coloured with toxic dyes.
A newcomer to the market is Anjali Generation providing mats that are made from 100% eco friendly materials including natural rubber, cork and jute fibre that comes from the stems of the jute plant. Anjali currently offers two ranges of Yoga Mat, the Eco Friendly Cork Mat or the Jute Mat. Both mats offer intense grip and thick cushioning. Check out their website for further information. Discounts are given for Yoga Studios.