In 2008, Yoga Journal's "Yoga in America" reported that 6.9 percent of U.S. adults, or 15.8 million people, practice yoga. The study also showed that Americans spend $5.7 billion a year on yoga classes and products, including yoga mats, clothing, and media (DVDs, videos, books and magazines). (image source)
Where's the eco in all of this?
In the past, we've talked about the value of recycling your clothes. And we're big proponents of getting books and DVDs from the library or swapping with friends.
But what should you do about yoga mats?
Good question. Traditional mats are primarily made from polyvinyl chlorides, or PVC. PVC is widely considered to be the most toxic plastic produced because dioxins and other carcinogens are released into the atmosphere during its manufacture. Furthermore, the plasticizers added to make the PVC, and your mat, soft and sticky, include lead, cadmium, and phthalates, which have been found to disrupt the endocrine system and contribute to other health problems. The toxins embedded within the PVC make it non-biodegradable. When incinerated or buried in landfills, the dioxin and other carcinogens, could pollute the air.
How can you become part of the solution? Recycle your mat.Here's how.