No one wants to be thinking about what chemical additives are underneath their hands and feet during Downward Dog. Fortunately, more and more companies are producing eco-friendly yoga mats and natural yoga mat cleaners.
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When you have a mat that's free of dangerous chemicals and made with eco-friendly processes or more sustainable materials — like all-natural rubber and jute — you don't have to sacrifice good grip quality in your efforts to be gentler on Mother Earth. Here are five options to consider.
1. Manduka eKO Lite Yoga Mat
Made from biodegradable, non-Amazon-harvested, natural tree rubber, Manduka's eKO lite yoga mat offers some serious grip, even in the midst of your sweatiest Bikram classes. The rippled surface texture feels and acts like the ridges of your hands to prevent slipping and sliding. Plus, Manduka also carries a line of sweet-smelling natural yoga mat cleaners.
Buy it: Manduka.com; Price: $80
2. Gaiam Jute Yoga Mat
Gaiam's Jute Yoga Mat mixes environmentally friendly polymer resin with jute (a vegetable-based fiber). While the jute creates a bit of a different feeling on your hands than traditional rubber mats, the no-slip properties remain. Plus, the rubber portion provides the comfort and support that's missing from an all-jute mat.
Buy it: MukhaYoga.com; Price: $39.50
3. Jade Yoga 34Harmony Mat
While all of Jade's yoga mats are made from all-natural rubber and are PVC-free, their mats take altruism one step further by donating $5 from each sale of teal mat purchased to ovarian cancer charities, $5 from each saffron mat to Autism causes and $5 for every pink mat to breast cancer charities.
For those who value companies who give back to the environment, Jade plants a tree for every one of their mats sold through their partnership with Trees for the Future. They've planted more than two million trees so far!
Buy it: JadeYoga.com; Price: $79.95
4. Prana E.C.O. Yoga Mat
The E.C.O. mat, which stands for "Earth Conscious Offering," is a result of Prana's toxin-free manufacturing process. This product is free of PVC, chloride and latex. So when it's time to get a new mat, you can recycle this one.
The underside of the mat stays put on smooth, hard surfaces, while the top offers a no-slip grip and won't allow germs from your sweat to absorb into the mat.
Buy it: Prana.com; Price: $55
5. Yohola Yoga Cork Mat
Promoting and providing sustainable products is a big part of Yohola as a company — the brand even ships products in 100-percent recycled paper and cardboard, according to the Yohola site. Yoloha mats are made of sustainably produced cork and recycled rubber.
But these mats aren't just good for the environment, they're great for your practice, too. Thanks to the materials used, the more you sweat, the better your grip will be. Plus, cork naturally deters bacteria and germs, and the foam on the underside of the mat won't absorb moisture.
Buy it: YoholaYoga.com; Price: $119
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