A great article written by Alice Forrest (conservationist and marine biologist extraordinaire) highlights just why bio-plastics are NOT the answer - for single-use plastic items. (see full write-up among other inspirational content here: https://www.aliceforrest.com/single-post/2017/11/16/BIOPLASTICS-Not-A-Solution)
Plastic does have a place in todays society - everyday lives are saved with medical miracles containing plastic, and many things we consider essential that last us a long time use elements of the material. However, items such plastic cutlery, coffee cups, containers, plastic bags and bottles are considered single-use items, used for an average of 12 secs and then discarded - and cannot be recycled! We are far too knowledgeable about their collective destructive capacity to consider these items "essential" (for one example, see a straw being removed from a sea-turtles nostril - warning: graphic content!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wH878t78bw)
Even if an item says it may degrade, unless its 'compostable', the chance that it might reach its ideal conditions to degrade (full-sun, high industrial heat, or deep in microbe filled soil) is very slim - it will most likely end up on land-fill, or more probably on the part of our earth composing 70% - our wonderful oceans. This means it will become micro-plastic, and enter the food-chain as a deadly, non-digestible 'food' item. Plankton have now been found in deepest crevices of the ocean feeding on micro-plastic marine 'snow' (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/15/plastics-found-in-stomachs-of-deepest-sea-creatures) - no part of the ocean is safe from this toxic tirade any longer.
Our mats are BIODEGRADABLE. This means in the right conditions, the jute and eco-rubber break down to their tiniest carbon components and return to the earth. BUT - we don't want you to treat them like a single-use item - We want to be with you for many many years!
We designed our mats so you can stretch out your hamstrings, balance in bow-pose, and stand strong (or jig and wobble) through tree-pose to your hearts content. We want your mat to be your grounding presence throughout your years of practice, something you can come back to and see how you are progressing, and how your hard work is coming along - and to lay down and relax after a hard days work (Savasana is our favourite, that's for sure!).
So please, take care of your wonderful mat, so it will be happy and last - just as you are yourself. A light spray of a few drops of eucalyptus oil mixed with water (maybe a drop of lavender for relaxation) works a treat for us, wiped down with a soft cloth and left to dry.
And what can you do?? To paraphrase Alice:
- Do what YOU can - maybe as small as bring your own fork to work, or use your own coffee cup! Or take a funky cloth bag to the store you made from your old t-shirt.
- Consider what can be replaced with degradeable materials. Your toothbrush and toothpaste - did you know about bamboo toothbrushes for example? Or make your own toothpaste? Think of an item, and google away - it's fun, trust me ;)
- Avoid buying food items wrapped up in plastic (as you can) for your own health - a lot of research shows dangerous levels of chemical leaching into our food and water and shop at whole-food stores!
- Get out and explore nature to remember why you love it so much, and connect with why you continue making these amazing efforts! Go you!
Thank you for taking the time to centre yourself, and being more free to take care of the planet and others - Namaste beautiful singers!
M & S x x x