Some mats may last for a while longer than others, but all the strain caused by frequent use necessitates you to buy a new one in a few years. If you’ve been a yogi for a while, you’ve probably had your decent share of changes of mats. It probably wore out, got torn up, or just deemed unfit for use. So you roll them up and store them in your cabinet, basement, garage, or anywhere there’s room. Before you know it, you’re doing your spring-cleaning and you see all the vibrant colored rolls stacked around in corners of your house.
BE KIND TO MOTHER EARTH
It’s almost inevitable that you have to replace your yoga mat. But it seems a waste to throw out an aesthetically looking pad, right? Unless it’s one of the biodegradable products available, you know it’s made from PVC, which is entirely recyclable. So the good news is, you can put your old mat to good use. With all the online channels available, it’s easy to look for tips on how to use the mat most efficiently.
- Line pet carriers with this to ensure that they are comfortable while inside. If they’re riding in your car and don’t want to stay in place in the car seat, you can lay them on top of the mat (instead of on the floor) to keep you seat free from scratches and fur.
- Put it under their dish plate to make sure the plate doesn’t move around while they eat or drink, saving you from cleaning up a mess later on. The same goes for the litter box.
- Any game usually lasts about thirty minutes or more depending on what it is. It’s a great idea for you to use the mat as your instant cushion on the bench to make sure your butt doesn’t hurt from the long sit while watching little Johnny play.
- If there are no benches and you have to sit on the grass, it can serve the same purpose.
- Take your game of catch to the next level by using squares as “bases” and get a full on game with the kids.
- Want a little tan? Bring this to the beach to lay on – much softer and sturdier than your beach towel anyway.
- Use as garden kneepads to prevent sore joints later.
- Put at the base of a playground slide to get a cushion for landing.
- Place under your sleeping pad to get that extra padding on camping trips. May also be used as door mats outside tents to keep shoes from dirtying up the floor inside.
- Use this one instead of buying another mat for your outdoor yoga.
ARTS & CRAFTS
- When the kids feel a little creative, put a mat under them and save you from scrubbing out their “artwork” on the floor later.
- Cut into a cool shape to amp up the boring square mouse pad.
- Make into fun flip-flops!
- Cut them into fun different shapes with scissors, or even with cookie cutters, and the pieces can be decorated as tree ornaments. The pieces can also be used for car ornaments, or as playthings for children (just use a little imagination!).
- Line drawers and shelves to ensure your glassware and cutlery hold better to the sticky surface.
- You can cut to the right size and glue the pieces under your furniture to prevent scratches on your floor. It can also be placed under vases to keep it in place.
SHARE YOUR BLESSINGS
If you’ve done all these and still have mats to spare, don’t worry. Another way to put them to good use is by donating them. You may choose to give them to homeless shelters to be used as sleeping pads. Nursing homes use them so people won’t slip when they moving in and out of their beds. Animal shelters also accept durable mats for our furry friends.Ask your local yoga studio if they participate in a recycling program, and feel safe to leave it in their hands – it’ll be sure to be put to good use.
BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE
Some of you may now be itching to buy a new mat, just so you can use the old one to start some of these ideas. Others however, may not be so excited. It may be too much work, when it’s easier to just toss it in the garbage bin. So when you throw it away, think about where it’s going. What is going to happen to that rectangular pad in the long run? For sure it’s not going to disintegrate into the earth.As yogis who believe that what we do in our lives, even the simplest act of recycling, affects Mother Earth, reusing these products will definitely be lighter – in your pocket and in your heart. A few good karma points won’t hurt either.