Sunday, November 8, 2009

Step One in Eco-Yoga Mat Activism... or Geekism

As most of you awesome eco-yogi/ni readers know, I've been trying to take that next step in my "eco"-ness which has mostly resulted in writing emails to a few companies. Although I still have a few emails percolating, I do believe that emailing is a little bit of the passive-aggressive approach. It's so much easier to email someone without having to directly speak or approach them about your concerns. Kinda like writing a blog (*wink).

In order to prove to myself that being slightly more pro-active does not have to make me some crazy, harried environmental doomsday spouter... I took one more step.

And made small posters.

Yep, I am a nerd. Officially an Earth-lovin' hippie.

For a few months I was thinking about how ridiculous it was that studios and stores around Halifax don't encourage their customers to recycle old mats when they purchase a new one. Mostly it occurred to me that evening where the lady next to me was chatting it up with the studio owner about how she hated her current mat and wanted to purchase a new one from the studio. While they were checking out the mats I kept biting back my crazy, "eco" mat recycling options and had to rush out afterwards in order to prevent some awkward random info-spouting.

Wouldn't it be great if studios had some nifty, simple posters with 10 easy ideas on what to do with previously loved yoga mats? So I made some. They sat on my computer for a while, then I printed them off on cardstock (not very eco- but I had run out of my 80% post consumer recycled cardstock we had for wedding invite practice runs). Those sat in my closet for about a month and then I finally got the nerve on Friday.

I put them in my purse and marched myself over to Lululemon Friday afternoon. I pretended to look around for a few minutes, tried to look like a legit shopper, asked a worker a few questions...she looked non-flaky and reasonable so I took a deep breath and:

"Ok, I have a weird question, and I've never done this before and I feel like such a geek but... would you put up a poster with ways to recycle a yoga mat?"

"Oh wow that's a fantastic idea!! We totally would!" (she looked sincere- YES)

"Cool! I know this is even weirder, like I'm handing out flyers or something, but I actually have some here with me.... you wanna see them?"

Lol, I am such a geek. She went on to explain how Lulu's mats are TPE and biodegradable and like the nerd that I am I had to explain how HRM doesn't actually accept these "biodegradable" plastic material so in fact in Halifax they are not (I didn't even GET into the whole- and who knows exactly what types of polymers are in TPE...). Sigh. In any case, she gladly took my poster and said they'd put it up! YAY!

I am such an activist. Ha. Next step- try to figure out a polite way to offer my beauts to local studios... If anyone else is interested in the poster, just leave your email here (I won't publish your comment) and I'll email it to you as an attachment :)

ps- weekend at home was fantastic, some yummy haddock and lobster were spoils of the visit!


article and photo copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. Okay, you're my hero! Way to go!

  2. go you! i always want to put up signs in my office kitchen about bringing your own mug etc...i did it once and the next day someone had already taken it down (probably office services who don't care about the environment and didn't like an unsanctioned poster, that's my guess, or maybe it was the crazy kitchen cleaner) so i've been deterred from doing it again. though i really should...i just see ever-expanding landfills everytime i see someone take another paper cup or plastic spoon from the kitchen.

  3. That is wonderful! One little step/poster at a time. Good for you!!!

  4. I love you! You make posters! I love making posters. In my old job there were posters about recylcing and composting tea bags all over the building made by me. I once had a stand up row with the senior partner about plastic spoons.

    Now I get to make posters for a living! (they are not eco posters but still).

    Please send me a poster. I think you know my email, it's on my blog anyway!

    Hurrah for geeky eco poster makers :D

  5. So. uh. How about making your poster downloadable so we can have some to put up?

  6. I love your gentle eco spirit! I finally gave my old old old Reebok (!) mat to my mom, who wants to try yoga. Now I have a Manduka eKo, and that sucker better last me forever.

  7. greenspell: thanks! hehe- yay!

    Julia: oh no! sigh- same would happen here. I had my recycling (with the sign that I was taking care of it) taken away and put in the garbage by the cleaning staff here once. boo.

    Over Coffee: so true- one little step :)

    Rachel: glad you like it and hope it serves you well!! :) The cat scratch idea is fantastic!

    Karen: well, I'm not too sure how to do that... or I would have (I was a little tired last night typing up after a 3 hour drive). If you know how on blogger I'd be more than willing to do it! :)

    VeganB: YES totally my fav choice- manduka eKo, andrew wants one... which will happen some day. :)

  8. Very awesome--way to go! It takes a lot to speak our truth but get us talking and...well, you know :-)

  9. Totally geek, totally punk rock, and totally inspiring! What a great idea and I'm glad you shared it with us. Definitely be sure to post a PDF of your poster so we can all print it off!

  10. woo hoo, way to go! And I mean that totally sincerely too! ;-)


  11. This is so wonderful- good for you for marching out there, that is the hardest part!

    I sent you my email to get the list to put up in the studio where I teach but I'm not sure what is on the list of ideas.

    I teach yoga at a couple of "non traditional" type places, one is a drop in facility for homeless teens and the other will be a residential treatment facility for kids. This is with the street yoga organization (

    Anyway, the yoga mats used were donated, a great thing to do with old mats. People can easily look into organizations bringing yoga to non traditional places, most cities likely have something of that nature.

    In the past I have wanted to get rid of mats just because they start to look dingy or something shallow like that, but really they still functioned just fine and with a little clean up it would be a perfectly wonderful mat to use! :)

  12. This is totally fantastic ... as you can see from all of the previous comments! Isn't it funny how nervous we can be to speak about something that we KNOW is important, even though we KNOW we have a great idea ... good for you for being brave. Would love for a downloadable version to be available to share with our community as well!


  13. Hi,
    Yoga is beneficial for the health in ways that modern science is just beginning to understand. Even though it has beenapplied with therapeutic intention for thousand of years, Yoga Therapy is only just now emerging as a discipline initself.
    More health care practitioners are starting to include yogic techniques in their approach to healing -- andmore yoga teachers give a therapeutic intention to their teaching. People who have never tried yoga before are startingto consider including Yoga in their treatment plan.
    As science begins to document the importance of understanding the interrelation of all existing things, it looks to Yogawith an intrigued eye, for Yoga speaks Unity in every word. As yoga techniques are researched and new data is gathered,it becomes easier for science and the medical establishment to understand and accept the benefits of Yoga Therapy.Yet there is still not one consensual definition of the discipline.
    In order to arrive to an adequate definition and tocome up with proper standards for Yoga Therapy, it is crucial at this early stage to properly address some delicateprofessional and ethical issues. At the same time it is important to educatethegeneralpublic about Yoga Therapy'sbenefits and careful use.
    so this article will really helpful to me..

  14. This is great! I have a studio in St. John's, NL and would love to post this info in my physical space and on our blog.

    Namaste :)

  15. You are not a nerd at all! You are an inspiration. When I was little, I used to call the 800 number for Gillette every day and tell them to stop testing their razors on rabbits. THAT was nerdy...

  16. haven't been by in a long while - i love your new oceanic masthead! as for your mat signs, well, that rocks! xo kitty

  17. Hey, that r4ds guy left the exact same-apparently-didn't-read-anything-except-the-word-yoga-in-the-blog's-title comment on my blog...

    Anyway, as my previous eco-mat strategy of simply keeping the one I have gets less and less viable with every hunk of purple left on a yoga studio floor, and every time my hands slip because it stopped being a "sticky mat" in anything but name quite some time ago, this is becoming an increasingly urgent issue. As it turns out, one of my local yoga studios does recycle "lightly used" yoga mats, which I suspect mine hasn't been in years...and considering that I bought it at a supermarket eight years ago, I suspect it's made out of some combination of styrofoam, whaleskin, and nuclear waste. So, your list may prove quite useful...

  18. thanks for the support guys!

    haha, I just skimmed the R24S... comment- thought it was a little strange.. lol.

    so- I only have one option as far as I can tell- and it's this website that's like photobucket but for files. which if you get the pdf file you won't be able to modify it...

    perhaps I will copy and paste the list in a new post?

    does anyone else know of a different way to upload a file on blogger?


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