16 Creative Ways to Reuse An Old Yoga Mat

This blog post explores the most sustainable methods for disposing of an old mat and offers guidance on making environmentally conscious choices when it's time to invest in a new one.


The most straightforward way to minimize waste is simply to use less. If you don't truly need an item, think twice before acquiring it. This not only saves energy and resources but also reduces the environmental impact from the outset. For beginners in yoga, consider investing in a high-quality mat right from the start to avoid future waste. Alternatively, you might borrow a mat from a friend until you're certain that yoga is a consistent part of your routine. This way, you prevent unnecessary purchases and keep old mats out of landfills.


Disposing of an old yoga mat, particularly those made from PVC, which aren't typically recyclable, can be challenging. You might be wondering what to do if your mat no longer meets your needs. Perhaps it becomes slippery during hot yoga sessions or starts to emit an unpleasant odor. Maybe it's still functional but is showing signs of wear and tear, or perhaps you're simply ready to upgrade to a mat that better suits your advancing practice. This post will dive into various ways to repurpose your old yoga mat and give it a new life.


We're confident that you'll find the creative suggestions below helpful for reusing or passing along your old yoga mats, hopefully negating the need for this final step. Reusing is undoubtedly better for the environment. It's important to note, however, that PVC yoga mats cannot typically be recycled through conventional methods. But don't worry—there's still something you can do! Consider visiting your local recycling center to consult with the staff. They can provide specific advice on reusing or properly disposing of old yoga mats, tailored to the regulations and options available in your area.

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1. Knee cushioning

Many practitioners experience knee discomfort on harder surfaces, but conversely, a firmer surface can be better for the wrists as it prevents them from sinking and overextending. Our yoga mats, backed with natural dense rubber, strike a balance between firmness and comfort. They aren’t as “fluffy” as those made from synthetic materials like TPE, foam, or PVC.

For those needing even more cushioning, consider repurposing your old yoga mat. You can cut it into smaller pieces and use these as additional props during your practice. For instance, when performing Ustrasana (Camel Pose), placing these homemade pads under your knees can provide extra support and comfort, making your practice more enjoyable and sustainable.

2. Donate to Animal Shelters

Animal shelter owners often welcome donations of old yoga mats, which they can repurpose into cozy sleeping spots for puppies, cats, and adult dogs. These mats provide a soft, insulating layer that helps keep the animals comfortable and warm, especially those in shelters with hard floors.

3. Donate to your local retirement community.

Consider calling a nearby elderly home to see if they could use a donated yoga mat. Many of these communities offer yoga classes and other activities that require mats, and they might appreciate the extra resources.

4. Give out gently used mats to someone new to yoga

A wonderful way to support new students and minimize waste is by giving out gently used yoga mats for free. This not only helps the environment by recycling what we already have but also encourages newcomers by removing an initial cost barrier. Receiving a yoga mat as a gift can make new practitioners feel welcomed into the yoga community and may inspire them to continue their practice more seriously.

5. Shelf liners

Perfect material for use as shelf liners. Give it a trial, and thank us later.

6. Camping

Old yoga mats come in handy when you go camping, fishing or hiking. Friends and family who spend time outdoors will be happy to take old yoga mats off your hands. For camping, it's perfect as a mat for the mud in front of your tent or under your sleeping bag

7. Heat blocker in the car

During summer you can lay an old yoga mat over your car's dashboard to reduce heat on the wheel from the sun.

8. Mouse Pad

Save some money for a mouse pad, cut up small pieces of a yoga mat, it works perfectly.

9. Insoles

Make your shoes more comfortable by cutting up old yoga mats as insoles.

10. Artists may take them

Donate old yoga mats to sculptors—they can use them as knee cushions while working, or even repurpose them into inventive art pieces. Art is rad!

11. Child safety flooring

Enhance the safety of your children’s playroom by laying down yoga mats as flooring to cushion and protect the area.

12. Table's sharp edges

Use yoga mats to cover sharp table edges, providing a safer environment for young children.

13. Lining pet carriers or placement mat for pet food

Old yoga mats are useful for lining pet carriers to make them more comfortable for pups, or as placement mats under pet food dishes to keep the area tidy.

14. Picnics

Use an old yoga mat as a comfortable seat for beach outings or picnics on the grass.

15. Projects & Planning boards

Repurpose old yoga mats as planning boards by placing them over flat surfaces. Stick notes and pictures to them to track the progress of your projects.

16. Under flowerpots

Place cut pieces of old yoga mats under flowerpots or vases to prevent water leaks from seeping into the floor.

If all else fails, please find us at one of our coming up marketplaces or events! Sign up to our newsletter to know where we will be. We gladly accept old yoga mats as we can donate them here locally to charities and different organizations. 

With love,

The Scoria Team


Careful with 7. if you have a natural rubber mat, prolonged exposure to the hot sun will cause it to decompose.

Sami April 14, 2024

Oh my gosh!!! So many great ideas! Thank you.
Mine were used by my cats as scratching / sharpening surface when i was using them! so they’re tattered. I will use them for cupboard liners and insoles – thank you again :)

Cindy G April 14, 2024

Awesome ideas!!

I use mine (and some cheap ones from a chain store) on the hardwood floors to keep my older dog from slipping. They work great!


Jim December 21, 2020

Great ideas!
Any recommendations for a children’s yoga class?
Thank you

Vicki October 13, 2020

Love all these excellent suggestions!!!!

Reuse , recycle. Thank you so much angel ❤️

Ranim May 28, 2019

Nice Blog and Thank you sharing the useful information to us by this blog

fitnessmatsindia February 14, 2019

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