Eco-Friendly Yoga Mats Leave Out Toxins

Yoga is a great way to build physical strength and remain emotionally centered. Unlike other types of exercise, which may require expensive equipment or gym memberships, all one needs to practice yoga is a comfortable outfit and a mat. But even those simple accessories create issues for those who want to bring their yoga practice in line with their eco-friendly lifestyle.

Many yoga mats are made from vinyl, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and phthalates. Vinyl is toxic to the environment during production and disposal, not to mention that it is made from a nonrenewable resource. Phthalates and PVC are “plasticizers” often found in soft vinyl materials, which leach out during the product’s lifetime, and have been known to have negative reproductive health effects in both men and women. It makes no sense to get healthy through yoga while breathing in terrible toxins, so JadeYoga created an eco-friendly alternative.

JadeYoga Mats

image via JadeYoga

The JadeYoga line of yoga products are made from natural, FDA-approved rubber, a renewable resource from sustainably farmed rubber trees. They contain no PVC, synthetic plastics or ozone depleting substances, which means you don’t have to hold your breath while holding your downward dog. “We use natural rubber because it grips better and has more cushion than any of the synthetic rubbers on the market,” reads the website.

Perhaps most importantly, the mats are made in the United States in compliance with all U.S. environmental and labor laws, and as an added bonus, the company helps Trees for the Future plant a new tree for each mat they sell. “What we like about Trees for the Future is that they work with local communities on projects that are environmentally and economically sustainable,” states the website.” They are not about going in and dictating what they are going to do, doing it and walking away. They engage the local community which leads to a project that can continue long after Trees for the Future has left.”

JadeYoga mats start at $54.95, and are available online through its U.S. or Canadian divisions.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog

    • Stevenrl

      Jade makes great mats, indeed.  The one I use is the Original Eco Yoga Mat, which uses both natural rubber and jute, which gives the mat more traction — http://www.barefootyoga.com/Detail.bok?no=558

    • Jamiedamico

      This is my first time to this site and it really addresses the need to be congruant with one’s yoga practice as well as supporting the health of the environments. Very nice.