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The Art of Upcycled Yoga Mats

5/22/2009 12:00:00 AM

Tags: recycle, yoga, upcycle, recycled product

I love yoga. 

In one hour I get everything I need: quiet, balance, stress-relief. I try to get to the studio every day, which means my poor mat is showing its age. But if I get myself one of those great new eco-friendly mats that have come on the market since I began practicing seven years ago, I face that old dilemma: What do I do with the old one? I don’t feel right about dumping it in the landfill, and it’s in no shape for another yogi to use. 

Manduak Yoga Mats
Manduka upcycles your old yoga mat into a new product. Photo Courtesy Manduka. 

So I was thrilled to find Recycle Your Mat, a company founded by yogini Stephanie Stano in 2008. With help from companies such as Manduka (the company that made my mat), Recycle Your Mat will give my mat a second life as an upcycled or recycled product. (Upcycling is the process of turning a product into something else without chemically altering it.) Roughly 18 million people practice yoga in the United States, Stano’s goal is to collect 1 million mats this year. 

There are three ways to donate your used yoga mat. You can drop it off, mail it to Recycle Your Mat, or convince your yoga studio to become drop site (which is what I intend to do). Before donating your mat, clean it and roll it. Recycle Your Mat offers drop off locations in various communities, or you can just pack it up and send it. Once your mat is recycled, you will receive a coupon to purchase a Manduka eco-friendly yoga mat or other Manduka items. 


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