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Earth-friendly Yoga Mats?

One of the most difficult items to claim as earth friendly is a yoga mat. Since inquiring minds want to know, I’m giving it a shot. The variety of conclusions may surprise you.

Chuck Blumenthal founded his Chicago company Bean Products in 1987. His small business launch was dedicated to universal comfort and environmental consciousness.

Today Chuck offers a Harmony Natural Rubber Yoga Mat that is made of open cell, natural dry rubber, (top picture). The rubber is sustainably harvested from pampered rubber trees and does not include latex. It’s a very durable mat and has incredible traction, even when wet from perspiration. The sturdy mesh in the mat’s interior provides stability and tear resistance. To last well for years, this (and all mats) should stay out of the sun. The thickness is 3/16-inch, which claims to have as much cushion as a 1/4-inch PVC mat. Get the 68 or luxury 74-inch length.

The Natural Fitness Eco-Yoga Mat is nontoxic, void of PVCs and Phthalates. Plus it’s recyclable, non-allergenic, lightweight, with terrific traction and cushioning. The two-color sides are fashionable fun. Also nice to know the manufacturer uses a solar-powered web host, which captures 100% of their electricity from photovoltaic panels, uses all recycled packaging, and plants a tree in the rainforest for each item sold.

The Natural Fitness Natural Rubber Yoga Mats are available in three sizes and the consistent thickness is 3/16-inch. Same features here as the Eco-Yoga style. Bean Products also offers a Natural Fitness Journey Mat which includes a complimentary yoga workout DVD and one-year subscription to Fitness Magazine. This 1/8-inch thick mat is two-color reversible.

Co-owner Josh Bandes of JustMyMat in New Jersey offers unique yoga mats that are made from TPE, thermo plastic estomer. Also known as thermoplastic elastomer, the composition is a material which can be easily recycled and does not generate acidic substances during incineration. It is safer for humans and our environment in comparison to conventional mats. Some of the benefits are no PVC, lead, or toluene. The natural characteristics allow it to be cleaned easily and prevent bacteria. Moreover, it’s biodegradable and recyclable. These mats claim to offer excellent traction with a superior grip. Mats can be personalized with logos or names, including a paw-print option with the yogi’s pet name.

I love the fact that we have eco mat options for adults, children and observing pets. There’s more to this topic (including recycling tips), so stay tuned. Meanwhile, check out Green Yoga Mats by FGS writer Lucille Chi and know that your comments are welcome!

Written by Delia Montgomery

I am Delia, d/b/a Chic Eco on, and established myself as an eco fashion guru by learning "who makes what in the world of environmental fashion and design."

Enjoy reading some of my freelance writing about environmental design, fashion and art -- from both consumer and supplier perspectives. You may notice I focus most on individual eco designers, movers and shakers.

From sustainable fashion apparel to paint and flooring, discoveries are a rush. I get my kicks this way. I also offer sales representation of earth-friendly designed products for wholesale buyers. Retailers may take advantage of my services with factory-direct pricing. Spend less time sourcing and prevent green-washed purchases!

My other forte is connecting suppliers with business-to-business tools. Aspects of my business vary with consulting services while I'm proud to be the aide that embraces unique and innovative gigs.

I'm originally a Kentucky Blue Grass gal who relocated to Maui early 2006 and the tropical Puna District of Big Island, Hawaii late 2007. Walk the talk is my motto here.

Early 2009 I constructed a yurt home office in a semi-urban setting on a tiny lot. My water comes from the sky, contained in a catchment that's not likely to dry in this rain forest. The electric is designed for solar conversion. I grow about 30% of my food organically, compost, and recycle to the hilt. Permaculture with a full eco system is my gardening style.

In fact, gardening is my ultimate joy. I seek gigs like design, weeding and planting between other jobs. My love is Hawai'i which has more climate zones than any state. There are frequent earthquakes here, typically under a 3.0 magnitude, and I happen to dig the vibrations. It's a wonderful simple life in paradise. As I grow older and wiser, I become more and more grateful.


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