This is a cross-post from Green Monkey, a monthly newsletter where I contribute. They have a great collection of writers covering topics like yoga, meditation, and nutrition. I’m going to repost some of my columns for them here from time to time, but you can also sign up for the Green Monkey newsletter to see what else they’re up to!
Yoga is actually a Sanskrit term that means “union.” It can refer to the union between body, mind, and soul that you achieve through your practice, and it can also mean the connection between a yoga practitioner and the Earth. It seems almost like a natural progression for a yoga-lover to also be a lover of the Earth, though this doesn’t always translate in the tools we choose for our practices. Whether it’s a mat made from toxic PVC or clothing from cotton that’s produced at the expense of Indian farmers, there are better options out there! Let’s take a look at some of the eco-friendly yoga options available.
Eco-Friendly Mats, Bags, and Blocks
- R.E.I. has an excellent PVC-free yoga mat made from natural and recycled rubber. They source the rubber from non-Amazon sources, meaning that the rubber’s production doesn’t contribute to deforestation.
- If you’re looking for a little color in your practice, check out this recycled mat made from “CleanPVC.” Unlike conventional PVC mats, this one contains no phthalates, dioxins and furans, phenal, or heavy metals.
- Of course, you’ll want to tote your eco-friendly mat in a environmentally responsible bag, as well. Luckily, Gaiam has you covered with this yoga mat bag made from recycled plastic bottles.
- Reader a ricat wrote in and suggested the Korq yoga mat, which looks like another great option! It’s made from renewable cork and an an “Eco-Foam” backing.
- Rather than choosing a block made from virgin wood or plastic, check out this wonderful bamboo yoga block from Wai Lana. Unlike many wood options, bamboo is actually a grass. It grows quickly with very few pesticides, making it an excellent renewable resource.
- What better way to round out that union with the planet than by supporting an independent crafter? Over on Etsy, seller Gaiam Conceptions has a beautiful line of organic cotton and hemp yoga wear. (It looks like her shop is closed until May 15th, but I hope you’ll check back when she returns. Her stuff is just beautiful!)
- Rawganique also stocks an excellent selection of organic cotton and hemp yoga clothing and accessories for both men and women.
- One of the most eco-friendly sources of yoga gear is your local thrift or consignment shop! Second-hand clothes have a minimal environmental impact, and you’re helping to keep those garments out of the landfill at the same time. Thrifting isn’t just for folks on a budget – it’s a great way to reduce your environmental impact while expanding your wardrobe!
Of course, if you do opt to replace your current yoga tools and clothing, you’ll want to dispose of them responsibly. You can donate your old yoga mat and block to the local YMCA or gym. If you’re getting rid of workout clothes, the Goodwill or Salvation Army can help give those clothes a second life on their racks rather than in the landfill.
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by My Yoga Online
About Green Monkey:
Green Monkey is Miami’s first Balanced Living company.
Balanced Living is learning how to find a greater sense of harmony within yourself and with the world around you. Both physically and mentally, attaining Balance is a process. It’s the daily practice of determining what you need to even out your body, mind and spirit. Balanced Living helps you manage time, stress and relationships. It increases your productivity and performance, and has the power to fill your life with happiness and satisfaction.
Each of us works on maintaining our Balance, though most of us wish we could do more. That’s where Green Monkey comes in. Green Monkey gives you the tools to find Balance in your life, at your own pace. Whether you’re looking for an amazing yoga teacher or a juice detox, Green Monkey is your resource for Balanced Living.
We understand that life is complicated. That’s why we’re doing the legwork for you. So if you’re busy, don’t know where to start, or are unsure who to trust, Green Monkey has you covered. We aren’t reinventing the wheel; we’re just making one that’s easier to roll!
Live the good life… the Monkey Life.
Hi there! My name is Becky Striepe (pronounced “stree-pee,” like “sleepy”), and I am a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. My life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Check out my new book: 40 Days of Green Smoothies!