Watch Out For These Women-Owned Sustainability Startups in 2020

Picture depicting women led sustainability startups. It's a picture of a women writing on notebook and working on her laptop.

Women-owned sustainability startups are on the rise. The year 2019 had set a record for VC funding for women-led startups. According to Pitchbook, VCs invested $19.1 billion in startups with at least one female founder. However, a mere record-setting event doesn’t tell the full story. The share of VC capital raised by startups with at least one female founder was just 12.3%. Moreover, female-only startups raised only 2.7% out of 12.3%.

Clearly, there is more work to be done in the startup ecosystem to improve these statistics. While women-led startups are delivering phenomenal solutions across various sectors, there is impressive work happening in the sustainability space as well. Climate change is one of the most concerning crisis. Women-led startups are building world-class solutions to tackle environmental issues and climate change. Let’s look at some of these mission-driven and women-owned sustainability startups.

We went to Product Hunt, Elpha, and AngelList and researched for more than 8 hours to find the top women-owned sustainability consumer startups that are trying to grow and need your support. There are numerous ways you can help save the environment. Supporting these startups and their vision in the early stages is a great way to help the environment.

Women-owned sustainability consumer startups you can support right now:


Does your investment portfolio reflect on your sustainability values? Arnie is an automated investment advisor that builds an investment portfolio customized to align with your unique sustainability values. Eliza Arnold and Izabel Arnold, founders of Arnie, aim to build a more equitable & sustainable world with customized investing.


As the name suggests, BobaGreen’s vision is to sell eco-friendly bubble tea. Founded by Mandy Yeung, BobaGreen sells bubble tea DIY kits. Their goal is to let you make your bubble tea at home with high-quality ingredients. You can enjoy your tea in a cup of your choice with a reusable straw. Imagine the amount of plastic you won’t waste with a DIY kit!

C16 Biosciences

Do you know about the environmental effects of palm oil manufacturing is for the environment? Rainforests from Costa Rica to Indonesia are destroyed to make way for oil palm tree plantations. Shara Ticku started C16 Biosciences to produce sustainable alternatives to palm oil. C16 Biosciences ultimately aims at reducing the environmental footprint of palm oil production. Discover more about their mission here.


Co-founded by Teresa Comi, Caeli creates and sells ethical homewares and art. They work with ethical suppliers and strive to avoid surplus production. Caeli has also partnered with “One Tree Planted” to plant one tree for every product sold. Please show them some support by purchasing some of their beautiful products, which are typically made to order so that they don’t waste any resources.


Founded by Jae Rhim Lee, Coeio makes burial suits for humans and their pets. Their products ensure a completely green funeral without polluting the atmosphere with cremation. Renowned fashion designers so design the products that funerals are beautiful while their patent-pending technology ensures fast decomposition and steady nutrient flow to plants. They also plant two trees for every suit or shroud bought and compost their scraps. Coeio burials can save a lot of money as well. They are less expensive than traditional burials.

Dispatch Goods

Co-founded by Lindsey Hoell, Dispatch Goods is making food delivery sustainable and earth-friendly. They deliver meals to you in sustainable packaging. They use reusable containers to deliver food and pick up empty containers from you after a week of delivery. This eco-friendly concept has proven to work successfully in countries like India on a large scale. They are currently serving only in San Francisco, but you can help them expand and request coverage in your area by submitting this form


Co-founded by Megan Ceryanec, Dripp sells eco-friendly shower liners. Their shower lines are recyclable and biodegradable. Their shower liners are treated to protect against mold and fungus. Please support them by trying out their eco-friendly shower liners! 


Fil₂R (pronounced like ‘filter’) is a sustainable, plastic reducing water filter option that is compatible with your existing water pitcher. Founded by Audra Huffmeyer, a Ph. D. candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Fil₂R aims to reduce plastic waste by reducing the number of water filters we throw away. Fil₂R’s proprietary and reusable case uses an activated carbon pod, which they make from 100% natural coconut shells that reduce lead, chlorine, and particulates from tap water.


Are you thinking of starting to live a sustainable life? Are you confused as to where do you start? Sanchali Pal started Joro for people who want to live sustainably. Jora is a mobile app that lets you track your carbon footprint by securely connecting your credit and debit cards. It then creates an action plan for you to reduce your carbon footprint through various challenges and activities. 

Lia Diagnostics

Founded by Anna Couturier and Bethany Edwards, Lia is the first and only flushable and biodegradable pregnancy test. This earth-friendly pregnancy test biodegrades 100% in just weeks. Lia’s vision is to create a better experience for women during one of the most emotional moments. This beautiful product is contributing to reducing the amount of plastic waste. Now you can know whether you’re expecting in an environmentally friendly way!


Mailrt is a mobile app that enables you to receive paper mail offers digitally and earns you cash rewards for saving trees. Our goal is to modernize the paper mail industry, save as many trees as possible, and create a sustainable society. We are also a part of the women-owned sustainability startups club.


Founded by Kayle Migaki and Lauren Barnes, OneKindCup is the first and only 100% backyard and industrially compostable cup. It’s also the only recyclable cup straw and lid combination available. OneKindCup is based out of the University of Denver Project X-ite. The company is student-owned and operated. Their mission is to reduce plastic waste from soft drinks sold all around the world.


Co-founded by Rupa Chaturvedi, Tag is a social media platform for the purpose-driven generation that has led movements such as climate change strikes. Their mission is to empower youth to impact the change they want to see in the world. They are building a mobile platform to create micro-communities based on shared interests, such as sustainability and social movements. Be a part of this new earth-friendly social media platform to create viral campaigns for causes that matter to you. 


Yvonne Cuaresma, Meghna Kamal, and Dennis Grishin are creating the ‘Yelp’ for eco-conscious consumers. W/purpose is a discovery platform that promotes a sustainable lifestyle through eco-conscious decision making. Their app allows users to make tradeoffs between cost, convenience, and social impact while earning rewards for engaging with sustainable businesses.

Mailrt is also a female-founded startup, and we strongly support other female-founded startups. These women-owned sustainability startups are making a significant impact on our planet. You can support these businesses and make an impact by visiting their websites, promoting them on social media, and using their products and services whenever you can.

Did we miss you on this list? Please email us at, and we will add you to the list.

A Comprehensive Unbiased Guide To Eco-Friendly Yoga Mats

woman practicing Balasana on an eco-friendly yoga mat
Balasana Yoga Pose (Child’s Pose)

While doing yoga, have you experienced the smell of hormone-disrupting chemicals coming from the yoga mat? That could be due to the release of toxic gases from your yoga mat. Fortunately, some yoga mat brands are manufacturing safe and eco-friendly yoga mats to solve for that. Apart from taking care of our health, we have to take proactive measures to become sustainable in every way possible. We must start avoiding toxic and non-biodegradable yoga mats and choose eco-friendly alternatives. 

P.S. We don’t get any commission if you purchase any of the yoga mats below. Our goal is to provide you with unbiased information so that you can make the right choices towards sustainability.

  1. PVC Yoga Mats
  2. NBR Foam Yoga Mats
  3. Polymer Environmental Resin (PER) Yoga Mats
  4. Polyurethane (PU) Yoga Mats
  5. Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) Yoga Mats
  6. Best Eco-Friendly Cork Yoga Mats
  7. Best Eco-Friendly Natural Rubber Yoga Mats
  8. Best Eco-Friendly Jute Yoga Mats

Problems with Conventional Yoga Mats

Most yoga mats are composed of materials that disrupt human hormones and are harmful to the environment. They may contain up to 100,000 bacteria per cubic cm. These bacteria can stay for a substantial period if you don’t clean the mats regularly. Some of the least eco-friendly yoga mats are:

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Yoga Mats

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is the most commonly used material in manufacturing yoga mats. PVC is a toxic chemical, and you can get exposed to it while inhaling during yoga. According to, PVC exposure is associated with an increased risk of a rare form of liver cancer (hepatic angiosarcoma) and brain and lung cancers, lymphoma, and leukemia. During manufacture, it also emits dioxins as a by-product, which is very harmful to the environment.

Manufacturers use a group of chemicals, phthalates, to make yoga mats soft and flexible. The health effects of phthalates are not entirely known, but some studies suggest that phthalates can adversely affect human reproduction and damage the liver, kidneys, and lungs. 

NBR Foam (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Rubber) Yoga Mats

NBR foam, in simple terms, is synthetic rubber. Yoga mats made of NBR are generally thicker and more comfortable. However, Butadiene, a key ingredient for NBR, has been listed as a toxic substance under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Yoga mats made of NBR may be better than PVC yoga mats but are not the most eco-friendly yoga mats. NBR is not easily recyclable, commonly ends up in landfill and doesn’t biodegrade. For the same comfort as NBR foam yoga mats, you can opt for natural rubber yoga mats as an alternative eco-friendly option.

Polymer Environmental Resin (PER) Yoga Mats

Polymer Environmental Resin (PER) is just another type of plastic, but with processing stages that minimize PVC’s toxic effects on humans. Manufacturing Polymer Environmental Resin is a relatively new technology that was patented in 2003. Hence, there is very little research available to conclude that PER is an eco-friendly material. However, based on the patent details, we know that it is undoubtedly better than PVC and doesn’t emit toxic gases that a PVC mat would. The patent implies are below are the reasons that make PER more environmentally friendly than PVC:

  • PER is disposable, biodegradable and can decompose into the earth without pollution, such as paper;
  • PER is recyclable, reproducible and reusable; and
  • After being used, it can be degraded by burning meanwhile without the generation of toxic gas, and the ground can absorb the resulting ash.

If you have to pick between a PVC based mat or a PER based mat, PER is definitely the sustainable choice. Jute yoga mats commonly have PER as the base. If you come across a jute yoga mat with a PVC base, it may not be an eco-friendly mat.

Polyurethane (PU) Yoga Mats

Polyurethane (PU) is another commonly used material to manufacture yoga mats. Some mats are made primarily from PU, and some natural rubbers mats have a thin layer of PU on the top for moisture absorption and protection of the rubber. Polyurethane (PU) may not necessarily be a completely safe and eco-friendly material. Toluene diisocyanate (TDI), a chemical used in polyurethane production, is very toxic and can cause respiratory problems and skin irritations. Polyurethane is also highly flammable. Hence, yoga mat manufacturers may add fire retardants during the manufacturing process. Fire retardants are very toxic, and when exposed to the human body can cause various health hazards.

Many companies are investing in their manufacturing processes to make safe and eco-friendly polyurethane. For example, Liforme uses eco-polyurethane, a non-toxic proprietary polyurethane, to manufacture yoga mats. When you purchase a PU yoga mat, make sure you check the description of the mat clearly to ensure it’s toxin-free.

Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) Yoga Mats

A lot of yogis prefer TPE mats as they are anti-microbial and easily cleanable. TPE yoga mats are recyclable and biodegradable. However, we haven’t found enough research to suggest whether TPE is harmful to human health or not. However, we know whether or not TPE is detrimental to your health depends on how it was made. This article provides a detailed overview of TPE yoga mats. It mentions that TPE could be as dangerous as PVC based on the results of tests conducted by a researcher at the University of Texas-Austin. It might be best to avoid a TPE yoga mat and go for an option you know is safer for your health.

Eco-friendly and Safe Yoga Mats

Instead of using yoga mats made from toxic materials, start using eco-friendly yoga mats, which will keep you healthy and our environment healthier. Let’s take a look at the common types of eco-friendly yoga mats and compare the most popular ones amongst the yoga community.

Cork Yoga Mats

Cork, which is harvested from the bark of the tree, is an environmentally-friendly and sustainable material that is commonly used to make eco-friendly yoga mats. It is the same cork that is used in wine bottles and bulletin boards. These yoga mats generally have cork on one side and natural rubber or TPE on the other side. Cork yoga mats possess an excellent grip and do not slip. Cork is a natural barrier to germs. Hence, cork yoga mats are anti-microbial. Bacteria will not survive for long on these mats. Cork yoga mats are also very durable, and you can easily clean them too. However, they can be a bit expensive and sometimes heavy to carry. We went to Amazon to find out the best-rated cork yoga mats. Here’s the list:


Amazon Rating


Free Strap

Plants Tree for Every Mat Sold









72"x 24"

4 mm

5.5 lbs

Platinum Sun Luxury





72"x 25"

5 mm

6 lbs

Gurus with TPE (Sprout)





72"x 25"

4 mm

2 lbs






72"x 24"

4 mm

6 lbs

Gurus with Natural Rubber (Roots)





72"x 25"

5 mm

6.2 lbs






68"x 24"

5 mm

3.7 lbs

1. SatoriConcept Cork Yoga Mat

SatoriConcept Cork Yoga Mat is the highest rated cork yoga mat on Amazon. Moreover, the price point of $64.50 in this yoga mat is mid-range compared to other cork yoga mats in the market. However, it doesn’t come with a free yoga mat strap. It is 4 mm thick and weighs 5.5 lbs. Customers have some great things to say about this mat:

“I’ve owned this mat for several months of regular use now. It’s in the same condition as when it arrived, and I absolutely love the natural feel of the cork when doing yoga on it.” 

“It really grips well when wet, so if you give it a little spritz with water, a hot yoga class will go really nicely with this.”

“Compared to other mats, this mat’s price is very reasonable. I like this yoga mat a lot and, I will recommend this to my students.”

2. Platinum Sun Luxury Cork Yoga Mat

Platinum Sun Luxury Cork Yoga Mat is one of the highest-rated cork yoga mats on Amazon. The mat’s price is $79.99, which is slightly higher than the SatotiConcept cork yoga mat. However, a bonus point is that this mat comes with a free strap, which can especially be useful for cork yoga mats that tend to be heavy. The 6 lbs mat is also somewhat heavier than the SatoriConcept cork yoga mat, but it’s thicker (5 mm) than the SatoriConcept mat, providing more comfort while doing yoga. Here’s what customers are saying about Platinum Sun Luxury Cork Yoga Mat:

“I like the added thickness, especially since I’ve been having some trouble with my right elbow while practicing.”

“My hands and feet don’t slip at all when I use it, and it’s easy to balance on as well.”

3. Gurus Natural Cork Yoga Mat with TPE Latex-Free Bottom, Sprout

Gurus Natural Cork Yoga Mat with TPE Latex-Free Bottom is one of Amazon’s most popular cork yoga mats. About 250 customers have given it a rating of 4.5 on Amazon. The best part about this 4 mm thick mat is that it weighs only 2 lbs, making it one of the lightest cork yoga mats you will find. It’s light-weighted since there is no latex in this mat. Moreover, it is also one of the cheapest cork yoga mats in the market, making it an attractive option for those with the budget. What makes this brand more eco-friendly than others is that Gurus brand has partnered with Trees For The Future, a non-profit to plant a tree for every mat they sell.

Gurus brand also has a premium version of this mat, which is made of natural rubber bottom. We have included it in our list below. Here’s what customers are saying about Gurus Natural Cork Yoga Mat with TPE Latex-Free Bottom:

“I love this mat. I’ve been using it for a couple of months now. It’s easy to clean. I simply wipe a cloth with essential oils over it at the end of class.”

“Once you get good perspiration going the cork offers great grip.”

4. Repose Eco-Friendly Cork Yoga Mat

Repose Eco-Friendly Cork Yoga Mat is one of the top 3 popular cork yoga mats on Amazon. More than 100 customers have given it a rating of 4.4 on Amazon. Priced at $69.99, Repose is a good bargain because it comes with a free yoga mat strap, which can typically cost you an additional $8 – $10. It’s 4 mm thick and weighs about 6 lbs. Here’s what customers are saying about Repose Eco-Friendly Cork Yoga Mat:

“I sweat a lot, and the cork surface absorbs moisture really well and prevents my hands from slipping.” 

“I teach hot classes, and I don’t feel like I need a towel to help me from slipping during practice.”

5. Gurus Cork Yoga Mat with Natural Rubber Bottom, Roots

Gurus Cork Yoga Mat with Natural Rubber Bottom is one of the most expensive cork yoga mats. One unique aspect of this mat is the option to use either the cork or rubber side. Gurus sources the natural rubber bottom in this mat from their family rubber farms in Kerala, India. The mat is 5 mm thick and weighs about 6.2 lbs. This $98.99 mat is not very popular on Amazon but has been rated 4.4 by more than 50 customers. Customer reviews popularly discuss how this mat is non-slippery and have a good grip than others on the list. One Amazon review also compares this mat to an Apple product due to its premium feel and quality.

The mat is expensive, but it’s also one of the most eco-friendly yoga mats on this list as it’s made of cork and natural rubber. Here’s what customers are saying about this premium mat:

“The cork surface has a really nice premium feel and great traction.”

“Bit expensive compare to other yoga mats, but it is worth it. Absolutely “no sliding hands” during the yoga poses.”

6. Gaiam Cork Yoga Mat

Priced at $39.99, Gaiam Cork Yoga Mat is one of the most affordable cork yoga mats. It’s is a popular choice on Amazon. More than 150 customers have given it a rating of 4.2. Most critical reviews complained about the cork cracking, but some customers mentioned that they didn’t worry about it as the cork is securely glued. The cork layer on this mat is very thin. However, the mat is 5 mm thick and weighs 3.7 lbs, which is lesser than most other cork yoga mats. However, the mat is slightly smaller in size than most other cork yoga mats in this list. It measures 68 “x 24” while most other mats measure 72 “x 24”. You can use this mat from both sides. It has cork on one side and TPE rubber material on the other. Here’s what customers are saying about Gaiam Cork Yoga Mat:

“The mat is easy to carry, so much lighter than other mats I have carried.”

“It’s a little bit smaller than I thought, but love the material and rounded edges.”

Other Cork Yoga Mat Options To Consider

We also looked at other highly rated cork yoga mats on Amazon. However, these less popular cork yoga mats had less than 50 customer reviews. Let’s take a look at those if you want to consider these options.

7. Masdery Cork Yoga Mat:

Masdery is another highly-rated cork yoga mat but not a popular one on Amazon. About 30 customers have rated it 4.7. At $72.99, the mat may seem expensive, but it does come with a free yoga mat strap. It’s 4 mm thick, measures 72 “x 24” and weighs 5.3 lbs.

8. Seeka Premium Cork Yoga Mat

This $59.99 mat is rated 4.6 by about 13 customers. Seeka is the heaviest cork yoga mat amongst the top ones on the list. It weighs about 6.3 lbs. However, it’s gains an extra point on eco-friendliness as Seeka plants a tree for every yoga mat sold. If you don’t mind the weight, this 4.5 mm thick mat may be a great eco-friendly item to own.

9. YOGA Design Lab Cork Yoga Mat

Yoga Design Lab cork yoga mat is a premium mat that costs about $88. If you’re looking to splurge, this mat may be a good option compared to Gurus Roots cork yoga mat, which costs closer to $100. About 36 customers have rated this mat a 4.6. This 3.5 mm thick mat weighs 4 lbs, lighter than most other cork yoga mats. Yoga Design Lab also donates $1 of each purchase goes to support boys and girl’s youth yoga programs in need. 

10. Yoloha Original Air Cork Yoga Mat: 

Yoloha Original Air Cork Yoga Mat is the most expensive cork yoga mat we came across. It is also the longest cork yoga mat available in the market. This 80″ x 26″ mat costs $140 on Amazon and is rated 4.2 by about 50 customers. This mat also comes in a 72″ x 26″ size, and this size costs about $119. Moreover, this 6 mm thick mat is also the thickest cork yoga mats in this list. If you’re looking to splurge and looking for a long and thick mat for the ultimate comfort, Yoloha could be your choice. 

11. SNΛKUGΛ Cork Yoga Mat

SNΛKUGΛ Cork Yoga Mat was rated a perfect 5, however, only by ten customers. It measures 72″ x 26″. This 4 mm mat is cheaper than most other yoga mats in the top 6 list. However, it weighs about 6.2 lbs, which makes it heavier than most other cork yoga mats. Priced at $46.99, SNΛKUGΛ may be a good deal for you those on budget. 

Natural Rubber Yoga Mats

Natural rubber is a sustainable and recyclable material commonly used to make eco-friendly yoga mats. It is made from the bark of rubber trees, and hence trees are not cut down to make natural rubber. The bark of the tree is sliced to harvest latex, which manufacturers then process the latex to form refined rubber. 

Natural yoga mats are incredibly comfortable as they provide excellent cushioning. They also have a great grip (could lose grip when web) and do not slip much. Moreover, you can easily clean them. Similar to cork yoga mats, natural rubber yoga mats can be expensive and heavy to carry. Natural rubber yoga mats could also take a lot of time to dry if they get wet. Additionally, yogis with latex allergy might not find these mats the most suitable. 

So, which are the best natural rubber yoga mats? We went to Amazon and looked at customer reviews to handpick the best natural yoga mats for you.


Amazon Rating


Free Strap

Plants Tree for Every Mat Sold




LiquidBalance by Clever Yoga





72"x 25" (also available in 84" x 25" for $118)

4.5 mm

6.5 lbs

Liforme Original Yoga Mat





72.8" x 26.8"

4.2 mm

5.5 lbs

Yogi Bare Paws





71" x 26"

4 mm

5.5 lbs

TXK Yoga Mat





72" x 26.77"

5 mm

7 lbs

Jade Yoga - Harmony





74"x 24"

4.5 mm

4.4 lbs

Manduka eKO





71” x 26”

6 mm

7 lbs

1. The LiquidBalance Yoga Mat by Clever Yoga

The LiquidBalance Yoga Mat by Clever Yoga is one of the most highest-rated natural rubber yoga mats on Amazon. About 280 customers have rated it a 4.8. The mat comes in two sizes. The 72″x 25″ mat cost $108 and the 84″ x 25″ costs $118. It’s 4.5 mm thick and weighs about 6.5 lbs. 

The mat includes a carry bag with a strap. Like most other natural rubber yoga mats, this mat has a thin polyurethane top layer that absorbs moisture enabling a firmer grip. Most customers didn’t complain about the rubber smell. Some have mentioned a mild rubber smell that went away after a couple of times of using it. For those who are looking for colorful yoga sessions, this mat comes in six different colors! Here’s what customers are saying about the mat:

“It was earthy and didn’t smell unnatural or unpleasant.”

“It’s not as thick as the Manduka Pro, which means it’s less cushy and lighter.”

2. Liforme Original Yoga Mat

The Liforme Original Yoga Mat is a popular natural rubber yoga mat on Amazon, and more than 900 customers have rated it a 4.7. It is also one of the most expensive natural rubber yoga mats you will find. This $150 mat measures 72.8″ x 26.8″, and weighs 5.5 lbs. This 4.2 mm mat also includes a carry bag with a strap and comes in 4 different colors.

One unique aspect of this mat is that the top layer of the mat is made from a specially engineered eco-polyurethane. Most natural rubber yoga mats have a polyurethane layer on the top. However, Liforme seems to have taken it one step beyond. Liforme sources its polyurethane responsibly such that the mat is completely toxin-free. This makes Liforme the most eco-friendly natural rubber yoga mat on this list. Moreover, this mat has a unique alignment marker system designed on it, which allows you to do your yoga poses accurately. The mat may smell of rubber when it’s new, but the smell goes away after 2-3 uses. Here’s what customers are saying about this premium natural rubber eco-friendly yoga mat:

“Dries quick, absorbs sweat fast.”

“As a yoga teacher, it helps me easily adjust my alignment to be a better example for my class.”

“If you’re a serious Yogi, don’t be put off by the price. When I think about all the money I wasted on cheap mats, I could have bought one of these in the first place.”

3. YogiBare Paws Yoga Mat

YogiBare Paws Yoga Mat is another highly-rated mat on Amazon and comes at an attractive price of $89. More than 300 customers have rated it a 4.7, and they love the mat’s firm grip. This mat also has body alignment guidelines on top of the mat. YogiBare uses only natural plant-based dyes, and laser etches their design to avoid any toxic inks. It’s 4 mm thick, measures 71″ x 26″, and weighs 5.5 lbs. If you are comfortable with a 4 mm thick mat, this less expensive mat could be the right choice for you. However, note that this mat doesn’t come with a carry bag or body strap. Here’s what customers are saying about this mat: 

“This mat is smooth, super grippy, and makes me feel safe and secure that my hands aren’t going to slip out.”

“I will not be buying any other mat. The price and quality are unbeatable.”

“Smells of natural rubber, not overwhelming though. The paw print looks cute. Feels great! “

4. TXK Yoga Mat

If you are looking for a colorful eco-friendly yoga mat, definitely consider the TXK Yoga Mat as an option due to its beautiful design. Around 70 customers rated the mat a 4.7. TXK natural rubber yoga mat is also one of the least expensive yoga mats, costing about $65.99. Moreover, it includes a carrying strap and a yoga bag. The 5 mm thickness makes this mat very comfortable to use. However, that also makes this mat very heavy, weighing about 7 lbs. An important thing to note about the TXK natural rubber yoga mat is that the mat’s top surface has a layer of natural suede, which makes this mat ultra-soft. If you are looking for a thick and comfortable mat with a very soft feel, TXK could be your favorite choice. Here’s what customers are saying about the TXK yoga mat:

“Such a pretty and cushy yoga mat. Great grip and comfort. It does not slide while using. It comes with a nice carry bag.”

“The # 1 reason I picked this mat was, after careful research, I found that it would be the best for my bad knees.” 

5. Jade Yoga – Harmony Yoga Mat

Jade Yoga’s Harmony natural rubber yoga mat is the most popular natural rubber yoga mat on Amazon. More than 3000 customers have rated it a 4.5. It’s a decently priced $85 mat that is 4.5 mm and weighs between 4.3 lbs – 4.5 lbs. The mat comes in 8 different colors. Additionally, Jade Yoga has also partnered with Trees for the Future to plant trees for every product sold.

Unlike most other natural rubber yoga mats, Jade Yoga Harmony yoga mat is made from open-celled natural rubber, which absorbs sweat better than closed-cell natural rubber. Hence, this mat doesn’t need to have a polyurethane or suede layer on the top to absorb sweat. However, the downside is that the mat also absorbs bacteria, making it difficult to clean the yoga mat. However, Jade Yoga suggests that a simple solution made of vinegar and water should help deep clean the mat. Here’s what customers are saying about this popular natural yoga mat:

“There is a slight rubber smell, but it does fade, and honestly, it didn’t bother me. That smell went away after about two weeks of daily use.”

“I love the non-slip grip-on the floor and under my feet. I didn’t realize how much my old cheaper mats moved around until I got this one.”

6. Manduka eKO Yoga Mat

Manduka eKO is another natural rubber yoga mat you could consider, especially if you’re looking for extra cushion for your knees. This 6 mm thick mat is one of the thickest natural rubber yoga mats. The comfort of thickness does come with 7 lbs of weight. However, Amazon reviewers have given the mat a 4.8 for its sturdiness. This $92 natural rubber yoga mat has non-toxic foaming agents and non-azo dyes. Here’s what customers are saying about the Manduka eKO Yoga Mat

“This mat is extremely grippy, and the cushion really protects my knees and wrists.”

“Very nice yoga mat, heavy but super comfortable.”

Other Natural Rubber Yoga Mat Options To Consider

We also looked at other highly rated natural rubber eco-friendly yoga mats on Amazon. However, they are currently not very popular on Amazon. Less than 50 customers have reviewed these mats. But, there are some worthy options you may want to consider. Let’s take a look.

7. Rumi Sun Yoga Mat

Rumi Sun Yoga Mat is not a very popular natural rubber yoga mat on Amazon, but it’s a highly rated one. About 30 customers have given the mat a 4.6, which is why it made it to our list. This mat is also different from other natural rubber yoga mats because it is made from natural rubber and blended cotton fabric. Rumi has engineered their mat with blended cotton fabric such that it makes the mat more durable as it prevents loss of bits of rubber after prolonged use. The cotton blend also allows for the absorption of sweat. Lastly, the cotton blend also makes this $85 mat slightly more affordable than other pure natural rubber yoga mats. The mat weighs about 5.5 lbs and is 4.3 mm thick. 

8. YUGLAND PU Yoga Mat

If you are looking for an affordable natural rubber yoga mat, YUGLAND PU Yoga Mat could be a perfect option. At an attractive price point of $49.99, the mat also includes a carry bag with a strap. YUGLAND is not very popular on Amazon, but about 30 customers have rated it 4.6. Similar to most other natural rubber mats, this 4mm thick mat has a polyurethane top layer. It has alignment lines designed on top of it for accurate positions. The mat weighs about 7 lbs. But if weight is not a concern for you, this mat may be an excellent deal for an eco-friendly yoga mat.

9. UGO Rubber Yoga Mat

UGO Rubber Yoga Mat is another natural rubber yoga mat that is not very popular on Amazon, but it’s a decently rated one. This 5 mm thick mat is also affordable than other natural rubber yoga mats. It costs about $65. It’s one of the least expensive natural rubber yoga mats on our list. Similar to Jade Harmony Yoga Mat, this mat is made of open-celled natural rubber. Some yogis can find the texture of an open-celled natural rubber yoga mat rough and unsuitable. It’s worth zooming in the pictures of all the mats to ensure that you are comfortable with the texture.

Jute Yoga Mats

Jute, a natural fiber with a golden shine, is made from the bark of the jute plant. Amongst a variety of other uses, jute is also used to make eco-friendly yoga mats. Jute yoga mats are typically manufactured by mixing PER (Polymer Environmental Resin) with jute. They are also anti-microbial and free from allergens like latex. Due to their strong fibers, these mats do not slip and provide an excellent grip. Moreover, they are very durable and easy to clean. 

Jute is naturally a rougher material, and yogis who practice intense poses may not like the burns or irritation caused by the texture of these mats. However, if your yoga practice includes simple poses, jute yoga mats can be an incredible, eco-friendly option.


Amazon Rating


Free Strap

Plants Tree for Every Mat Sold




Ajna Eco Organic





72” x 24”

5 mm

3 lbs






72” x 24”

5 mm

3.4 lbs

Lottus Life





72” x 24”

8 mm

4.2 lbs

Gaiam Jute





68” x 24”

5 mm

5 lbs

1. Ajna Eco Organic Yoga Mat

Ajna Eco Organic jute yoga mat is the most popular and highest rated jute yoga mats on Amazon. It is one of the most beautiful looking jute yoga mats and comes in 4 different colors. More than 500 customers have rated it 4.4 on Amazon. It also comes with a free cotton strap so that you can easily carry the mat. It costs about $49.99, an excellent price for an organic and eco-friendly yoga mat. It’s 5 mm thick and weighs about 3 lbs. It’s a dual-sided mat. On days when you don’t feel like doing your yoga on the jute side, you can use the other softer side. Ajna also plants a tree for every mat they sell. That makes this mat even more environmentally-friendly. Here’s what customers have to say about Ajna Eco Organic jute yoga mat:

“There is no smell at all from the Ajna yoga mat. I can now rest easy and breathe in deep in child’s pose.”

“This is a great mat for hot yoga. I sweat a moderate amount and do not slip at all with this mat!”

“I love the earthy feel that the jute lining gives. However, the palms of my hands do feel slightly irritated after class due to the scratchier material.”

2. YogiMall Natural Jute Yoga Mat

YogiMall Natural Jute Yoga Mat comes as a part of the YogiMall jute yoga mat kit. The kit includes non-slip socks, a cotton strap, a microfiber hand towel, and a 5 mm thick yoga mat. With all these items included, the kit costs only $48, and customers love it. About 300 customers have rated it a 4.4 on Amazon. Like most other jute yoga mats, YogiMall is reversible, and you can use it from both sides.

An important note about the YogiMall jute yoga mat is that it is made from jute and eco-friendly PVC material. Regular PVC is not an eco-friendly material, but according to YogiMall, their ECO-PVC is free of the six phthalates declared toxic by SGS. These six phthalates are DEHP, DBP, BBP, DINP, DIDP & DNOP. YogiMall also assures that their mat is free of lead and heavy metals. Here’s what customers are saying about the YogiMall Natural Jute Yoga Mat:

“The mat has a rough texture on one side but softens with use. It prevents slipping, so that’s a benefit.”

“After an hour of ashtanga yoga, I am usually sweating, and the jute does a nice job of absorbing the moisture. It is so comfortable!”

3. Lottus Life Natural Jute Fiber Premium Yoga & Exercise Mat

If you are looking for a very thick jute yoga mat, Lottus may be a good option. It’s an 8 mm thick mat that feels like memory foam and provides a good cushion for your wrists and knees. Due to the thickness, the mat weight around 4.2 lbs. The mat is reversible, and you can use it from both sides. The mat is not very popular on Amazon. About 70 customers on Amazon have rated it 4.3. The mat’s original price is $78, but it’s on sale for $64.99 (as of the 07/23/2020). 

“This mat is great, stays put, and extra long. The jute felt scratchy at first but did not take long to smooth out. I would recommend it.”

“A little rough on bare skin but otherwise comfortable & sturdy. If the smell s bothersome, it aired out & went away in a couple of days.”

4. Gaiam Yoga Mat Jute 

Gaiam Yoga Mat Jute is one of the least expensive jute yoga mats. It costs about $34. However, the low cost comes with somewhat low quality than other jute yoga mats. It’s not a very popular choice on Amazon. About 50 customers have rated it a 4. The mat is slightly smaller than standard yoga mats. It measures 68″ x 24″, while most other mats measure 72″ x 24″. It’s 5 mm thick and weighs about 5 lbs. Due to the weight and thickness, customers like the stability of this mat. However, a lot of customers didn’t like the rough texture of the mat. The mat doesn’t come with a free carrying strap. Here’s what customers are saying about the Gaiam Yoga Mat Jute:

“For the price, it is unbeatable! Super grippy and beautiful color!”

“The only complaint I have, which isn’t really a complaint: in the first few uses, I got the fabric material all over me, but now that I have had it for a bit, my mat has stopped shedding.”

A healthy mat signifies a healthy mind and healthy body, and thus a healthy soul. It is also our social duty to look after the environment and not pollute it with toxic chemicals and non-biodegradable waste. Some of these eco-friendly yoga mats may seem expensive, but remember, their natural materials also make them very durable. They can last for a few years if you take proper care of the yoga mat. An eco-friendly yoga mat is a worthwhile investment for your health and another baby step towards a sustainable world.

Why Do I Get Junk Mail?

Everything from your Twitter feed to news channels is full of clutter. Your mailbox is no different these days. Most of the time, you may wonder why am I even getting this mail? You might also feel anguished at the amount of paper wasted on such needless mail. The mailbox may have letters addressed to you, but it is hardly relevant to your needs. Let’s take a look at why do you get junk mail and from where does your junk mail come

Image of a mailbox filled with junk mail
American households receive an average of 1184 pieces of junk mail every year.

Most of your junk mail comes from big corporations such as banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, charity organizations, real estate companies, retailers, and grocery stores. Physical mail is expensive. It can cost a business around 40 cents/mail for a simple letter and envelope. If the mail has sophisticated designs or thicker paper quality, the cost of sending a mail can be as high as $10. In 2017, the USPS reported a mail volume of 150 billion. You can do the math (40 cents x 150 billion) yourself to see how much marketing dollars are spent by big corporations to spam your mailbox.

The first reason you get junk mail is that information about you is sold to businesses

Although your mail may seem spam to you, businesses do try to send targeted mail. As soon as your new baby comes home, your mailbox may start overflowing with discount offers from baby stores and brands. Similarly, a retirement may bring you many offers from financial planning agents, cruise lines, and even mortuaries! So, how businesses know about your life events? 

Before the junk mail arrives at your mailbox, businesses go through numerous processes and decisions before choosing the mail recipients’ final list. They create elaborate data models to predict whether or not you will respond to their mail. These models use data from third-party data providers such as credit bureaus. 

Let’s take a look at an example to understand how junk mail works. When someone has just bought a new home, they start getting advertisement mail from furniture retailers or internet service providers. Businesses first get the move-in and move-out data from USPS or other data providers. Then, they use that data point to target prospects in their next direct mail campaign. That’s how people suddenly start receiving an avalanche of discount coupons for home appliances, furniture, or decor as soon as they move into a new apartment. Some excellent discount offers in the mail might even get us thrilled, but a few very of us ever end up purchasing the product or service.

What these businesses don’t know before sending the advertising mail is whether you are planning to buy new furniture or whether you plan to use the furniture from your previous apartment. A lot of us even decide to purchase furniture locally using websites such as a Facebook marketplace. All these behavioral factors are unknown to businesses. Therefore, typically less than 1% of users respond to marketing mails. In other words, 99% of the mail is trashed without the receiver taking any action.

The second reason you get junk mail is geo-targeted mail

Sometimes businesses don’t rely on data specific to an individual house to send the mailpiece. They target the entire zip code. For example, real estate companies tend to send mailers based on geographical zip codes. You will notice these mailpieces are generally addressed as “To our neighbors at.” Unfortunately, there is not a great way to stop geo-targeted mail. Our postal system doesn’t allow us to opt-out of such communications. However, you can most definitely recycle such mail.

Why do businesses send junk mail even when it’s expensive?

The math works out for them. The profit margin for most businesses is such that even if 1% of the mail recipients take the desired action, the companies make a profit. Some companies realize that profit immediately with a single purchase, and some companies realize that profit over multiple years. For example, if you get a mail from a retailer selling apparel and make a purchase due to that mail piece, the retailer may not realize their profit immediately. They will encourage you to come back for multiple apparel purchases and make money as you begin purchasing more apparel. 

You can opt-out of junk mail

There are ways to stop junk mail. Refer to our guide on how to opt-out of junk mail.
6-step Guide: How To Opt Out Of Junk Mail .

What if you don’t want junk mail and still not miss out on great offers?

We created the Mailrt app precisely for that. Opting out of junk mail can bar you from receiving discounts you may need in the future. Wouldn’t it be great to choose which mail offers you want and redeem these offers digitally? Moreover, you could earn cash rewards for proactively saving trees. 

Sign up for the waitlist and be the first to know:

How Can I Volunteer to Help The Environment?

Every change needs action. Your eco-friendly home needs dedicated efforts in the reduction of plastic waste and water conservation. Likewise, your community needs passionate individuals to care for the environment. You’re at the right place if you are looking for ways to make a difference and volunteer to help the environment.

Over a million people in America share your love for restoring the Earth to its former glory. You could contribute your time and energy at an eco-friendly farm, or you could plant trees with the Arbor Day Foundation. The list is as long as the depths of nature.

Image of a person volunteering to help the environment and picking garbage from the beach

Here are six excellent ways you can volunteer to help the environment:

Plant trees

No matter what the financial figures say, your city is as rich as its number of trees. If you are looking for an easy and quick way to volunteer to help the environment, you cannot miss planting trees. Trees provide oxygen and clean the air, conserve the soil and underground water, fight climate change, shade and cool the local environment, and give a home to wildlife. According to a study, the presence of trees can reduce your air conditioning costs by as much as 56%! 

Arbor Day Foundation organizes an annual national tree celebration where people across the Tree City USA network come together and plant trees. The foundation also keeps track of deforested acres that need replantation and organizes drives to bring back the greens. A $10 membership in the Arbor Day foundation lets you plant ten trees. 

You can always plant trees independently at your home. You can also take up the responsibility of caring for the existing trees by ensuring that they thrive. Take out the time to water them. You can also check if they need weeding and pruning. 

Volunteer at a River Clean-up Facility

According to some estimates, about 1 million seabirds and 100,000 mammals and sea turtles die every year due to plastic waste. Government agencies may not regularly clean trash from the rivers. The safety of the water bodies for these animals then becomes our responsibility. Volunteering involves cleaning up the river banks by picking up broken glass, cigarette butts, plastic straws, and other trash that could end up in an animal’s body.

Community driven river cleaning drives work to ascertain that their rivers do not eventually become waste pits. You can join your local river cleaning drive or register with national-level organizations such as the National River Cleanup through American Rivers. In 2010, about 60,000 volunteers of the National River Cleanup Program cleaned up 6000 miles of a stream by collecting over 2 million tonnes of trash!

Volunteer at a State or National Park 

Wildlife conservation is an essential aspect of the preservation of our natural ecosystems and biodiversity. Your time and effort could ensure their safety of survival and longevity. Numerous programs require volunteers in the U.S. and abroad to better understand and serve the special creatures of our planet. Volunteering at a state or national park is a great way to not only help the environment but also stay close to nature.

For example, The African Conservation Experience lets you volunteer to protect the endangered rhinos. Volunteers also help rehabilitate wild animals recovering from sickness or injury.

The John Muir Project in the USA is a non-profit organization that passionately ensures ecological management of forests. Our abundant forests require continuous research for the best sustenance of their resourceful ecosystems. Volunteers study the birdlife in these forests. They also help in spotting and eradicating invasive weed species of plants that threaten the native tree population. 

You can also check out the National Park Service program. It calls in Volunteers-In-Parks (VIPs) that work alongside professional park rangers throughout the 390 national parks of the U.S. VIPs serve as guides on nature walks and help in the preservation of archaeological artifacts. 

Join a Community Garden 

Joining a community garden is not only a great way to volunteer and help the environment but also socialize with your community. Many neighborhoods harbor community gardens where the members work together in their growth and maintenance. The work involves plantation, care, and harvest action of the community-grown fruits and vegetables. 

These small green spaces make the local environment more green while providing organically grown food and bringing in the sense of harmony with nature. 

According to the National Recreation and Parks Association, the USA alone has over 18,000 community gardens. Many such gardens are known to donate their produce to the needy and homeless. Numerous food banks are known to receive all their supply from such gardens. 

You can also start a community garden in your area by contacting the American Community Garden Association. You can start the work with the help of readily available garden startup toolkits.  

Provide Environment Education 

Environmental education is crucial in this day and age. Climate change hangs like a dread upon our skies, and many irresponsible leaders deny the scientific evidence. We need more people to be aware of the environment for more participation in sustainable efforts for change. Educating your community about the environment is another great way to volunteer to help the environment.

Environmental education must start at school so that eco-friendly habits eventually become lifestyles. Look for your local environmental organizations that volunteer at schools and conduct eco-friendly workshops. 

If you have an environment-friendly idea or talent, you should share it with your community and the world. Be it your ability to make eco-friendly make-up, or homemade vegan recipes, community education centers are always looking for volunteers who can offer something new. 

Work with an Environmental Advocacy Organization

Environmental advocacy organizations produce laws and policies to protect the environment. They campaign to bring these policies into action on federal, state, and local levels. The volunteer’s work includes organizing events, helping draft policies, promoting environmental campaigns on social media, managing websites, and often creating canvases on the streets.

Sierra Club, Greenpeace USA, The Nature Conservancy, and the National Audobon Society are some national-level advocacy organizations that offer several volunteer opportunities every year. 

Volunteering for the environment can also look like a beach trip where you pick up every last empty beer bottle and other harmful waste before it reaches the sea. The Earth needs us to go out and make a difference.

Apple, Spotify, Pandora: Which is the most eco-friendly audio streaming service?

image of a woman listening to music using headphones

You may be listening to Armstrong’s “a wonderful world,” but your audio streaming services may be emitting tons of pollution backstage. Music may work wonders for your body. However, it is essential to think if our technologically advanced music listening habits are sustainable for the Earth. A 2017 report by, “Clicking Clean: Who is winning the race to build a green internet?” sheds light on how eco-friendly the most popular audio streaming services are. The most eco-friendly audio streaming service is Apple Music and iTunes. What about Spotify and Pandora? As soothing as they are for your routine, both Spotify and Pandora are nowhere close to Apple in terms of sustainability. However, between Spotify and Pandora, Spotify is more eco-friendly.

According to the report, the I.T. sector’s energy footprint occupies 7% of global electricity usage. With rising demand and increased global expansion, these companies need to become more dependent on renewable energy sources.

Apple is the most eco-friendly audio streaming service

Apple is leading the I.T. sector in energy efficiency and renewable energy dependence. Built and operated by Apple, iTunes is rapidly mushrooming across the world, with music available for streaming as well as download. Apple leads the charts of sustainable brands with a clean energy index of 83%. Apple powers almost all of its data centers with renewable sources of energy. It has also pushed several other cloud operators and I.T. data centers to enhance their reliance on sustainable power. The only problem is their recent expansion in Chicago with dependence on non-renewable energy sources.

No other technology company is as transparent as Apple in thorough and periodic reporting of their total energy consumption. Their reporting includes the energy consumption and performance index of their data centers and detailed evaluations of their renewable energy contracts and investments. Apple adopted 100% renewable commitment in 2012. Since then, every new data center has to procure 100% renewable energy before starting operation. Apple also serves to compromise for its little non-renewable energy load by adopting more renewable methods for all further projects. Their commitment to the environment is also evident in their sustainably powered new data centers in Arizona, Denmark, and Ireland. 

More about Apple’s efforts towards sustainability

Apple has put tremendous efforts in becoming energy efficient and reducing the mitigation of greenhouse gases. For example, Apple’s data center and the campus in California is entirely solar-powered. It was the result of a $1B deal with the largest solar power producer in the U.S. Their new data center in Denmark directly ejects waste heat into the local heating district and reduces other companies’ demands for fossil fuel. Many of Apple’s data centers in northern locations also take advantage of open-air cooling opportunities. 

Apple’s expansion is always in line with the local renewable energy supply. In 2016, Apple built a solar power plant in Arizona to make up for electricity it uses in the Mesa data center. The solar power plant has an output of 50MW, which is enough to power more than 12000 homes. Apple’s fast-expanding data center in North Carolina is now witnessing its third solar power project.

Apple, Facebook, and Google have joined hands in defending the existing renewable energy policies that have recently come under attack. Apple’s advocacy for climate change and clean energy is always on the rise. All the big four players – Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have supported the U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

Spotify is one of the largest global music streaming services but not the most eco-friendly

Greenpeace has received no information about Spotify’s energy footprint, and the company has not committed to increasing the reliance on renewable energy sources. According to the report, Spotify has a clean energy index of 56%, which is better than that of Pandora. Spotify has not provided any information about their goals in enhancing energy efficiency. There has been no advocacy for battling climate change, unlike many other comparatively sustainable I.T. companies.

The only sustainable step undertaken by Spotify is the transition in its reliance on Amazon Web Services to Google’s Cloud Platform. Google has taken significant strides in the direction of renewable energy procurement and energy efficiency. Although Google is not as energy transparent as Apple and Facebook, it has significantly improved in comparison. Google now provides detailed data about its colocation footprint and energy footprint on a regional basis. However, Google offers insufficient data about the energy efficiency of its cloud platform. 

Google has aimed to become 100% renewably powered and to triple its renewable energy purchases by 2025. Google has actively purchased renewable energy, and their latest contracts level up their renewable energy dependence by 2.5 GW. Spotify’s reliance on Google’s data centers brings it closer to energy efficiency. But Spotify itself hasn’t advocated or spoken in favor of environment-friendly growth. is one of the least eco-friendly audio streaming service

Pandora is not an eco-friendly audio streaming service. They have zero energy transparency. They haven’t provided any information to Greenpeace about their energy footprint. According to the report, they have a 13% clean energy index – the lowest amongst Apple and Spotify. One of the largest streaming platforms in North America, Pandora, has data centers in California, Virginia, and Illinois. No data is available about their dependence on renewable sources of energy. 

Pandora has never announced any goals or commitments to enhance its dependence on renewable sources of energy. Neither has the company provided any hints or details about their energy efficiency. is the largest public radio service in the U.S. but amongst the lowest in the clean energy index

Greenpeace has not received any information about NPR’s energy footprint or commitment to renewable energy. The company has made no efforts to enhance dependence on renewable energy sources or increase their energy efficiency. Their clean energy index is below 20%, making them one of the least eco-friendly audio streaming platform. NPR has made no investments in procuring renewable energy sources. Additionally, their platform is entirely dependent on Amazon Web Services to deliver their online programs. Amazon is one of the largest I.T. companies globally, yet it is the least transparent when it comes to clean energy utilization and energy efficiency. is dependent on Amazon Web Services for the storage and processing of its data

Similar to, Soundcloud provides no information about its energy footprint or commitments toward energy efficiency. There has been no leadership for the cause of environmental welfare or the procurement of renewable energy sources. It has a clean energy index of only 17%. It has a lot more to do to become an eco-friendly audio streaming service. Moreover, the company relies heavily on Amazon Web Services, which, as mentioned above, is the least transparent and most mincing when it comes to sustainability. Amazon considerably lags behind its competitors such as Facebook, Google, and Apple in ensuring greener promises for the Earth’s welfare.

The space on the internet may have outgrown the space on Earth by now. Music will always be a part of our lives. However, we need to ensure that our soothing music does not emit smoke in the background. Choose products and platforms that promise sustainability and care for our planet. 

12 Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Every Day Products

It is more important than ever to adopt eco-friendly alternatives when you can. The world is slowly moving towards irreparable damage. We haven’t been at our kindest best towards our Mother Earth. Almost everything we use daily harms the planet in some way or the other.

Scroll down directly to the list.

Image of a person holding reusable bag

Let’s look at an example. That small plastic comb you have on the dresser might not be the friendliest item for the planet. Think about it? Plastic is non-biodegradable, which means it does not break down into natural or environmentally-friendly elements once disposed of. Think of how grave an effect the plastic carry bags that you still get from the grocery can have.

However, we still have a fighting chance towards bringing glory to the planet before the situation proliferates out of control with an eco-friendly lifestyle. Yes, we are talking about cutting down on the products that affect the environment in some way or the other. Starting from using items made of organic material, like the comb, to depending more on the sun for solar energy, we have a lot of alternatives to work on.

Let’s put it this way. If you want, you will always find eco-friendly alternatives to almost everything you do. Let electrification of automobiles rapidly take over from harmful combustion engines, let the Earth Hour not be the only hour in the 365 days when we think of the earth. Read on to find out about eco-friendly alternatives to almost everything that you do.

Choosing the eco-friendly lifestyle: What, How, and Why?

The human race has been causing damage to the environment at an alarming rate. As a matter of fact, the damage caused to the environment has gone to such an extent, that the matter needs urgent attention and action. While the government and large corporations have their part to play in improving the conditions of the environment, every single person has to take a few steps to bring real change.

And the best way to bring this change is with an eco-friendly lifestyle. We can significantly improve the climate and the environment around us by considering our footprint. According to studies, three-quarters of Americans are concerned about the environment, but far fewer say they make an effort to live environmentally consciously all the time. Only 1 out of 5 say they make an effort all the time.

Eco-friendly habits can be a great way to bring improvement in your personal life as well as take care of the environment. To make an impact, we should proactively be looking out for eco-friendly alternatives.

While it may sound to be a very difficult task, it is not. Need laundry detergent? Use the one with natural ingredients. Drink coffee regularly? Use a reusable coffee filter. Avoid plastic and all kinds of plastic products. Remember, every bit counts.

In this article below, you will find some excellent and easily accessible eco-friendly alternatives to products that we use daily. Opting for such products can be very beneficial in shifting to an eco-friendly lifestyle.

The easiest and the simplest eco-friendly alternatives you can adopt

1. Reusable grocery bags

Plastic has been one of the major causes of environmental degradation across the world. According to studies, each year, we use an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags, which causes a lot of avoidable waste. A simple solution to reduce and completely stop the use of plastic starts with an environmentally friendly decision like using reusable grocery bags.

Reusable grocery bags are also convenient and cost-effective. Grocery stores even offer incentives to people who bring their reusable grocery bags. You can easily find these bags in various supermarkets and online stores.

2. Reusable water bottles

Another great way to cut down on plastic is by using reusable water bottles. Research indicates that although many recycling options and programs exist, almost 91% of the plastic water bottles end up in landfills and ultimately get dumped in oceans, causing immense environmental damage.

A reusable water bottle is not only environmentally friendly but also looks much better than most plastic bottles. Skipping the use of plastic bottles can be an effective eco-friendly change you can implement in your daily life.

3. Biodegradable trash bags

Biodegradable trash bags are 100% degradable under natural conditions and do not add up to the harmful wastes that accumulate in the environment. They meet the required composting program guidelines and are completely compostable, making these biodegradable trash bags an excellent eco-friendly alternative. Additionally, they are generally half the price of non-biodegradable trash bags. These bags are easily available in supermarkets.

4. Rechargeable batteries

As we all know, batteries function because of the chemicals inside them. Batteries are made of chemicals that are not only toxic but also ecologically damaging. We cannot stop using batteries, but what we can alternatively do is use rechargeable batteries.

Rechargeable batteries last for long periods, and using them is an amazing eco-friendly change you can adopt. Disposable batteries can cause severe damage to the environment such as air and water pollution. These rechargeable batteries save your money as well as time. As they last for longer periods, you do not have to go and buy them that often.

5. Reusable straws

According to the National Park Service, you could fill over 125 school buses with the straws Americans use every single day. The numbers go as high as 500 million. Does that sound shocking? Well, imagine the impact when all these straws end up in a landfill daily.

Using reusable straws can be an excellent item on your list of eco-friendly alternatives. It can make a significant impact on the betterment of the environment by reducing the amount of plastic waste. It is a pretty convenient solution as well.

6. Programmable thermostats

A programmable thermostat is another eco-friendly item you can add to your home. It is also a great way to save money. A programmable thermostat, when used properly, can help reduce energy consumption. These thermostats can save you up to $150 every year on energy bills. Programmable thermostats are widely available and some are even compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

7. Reusable coffee filters

Another excellent eco-friendly habit you can shift to, in your day to day lives is using reusable coffee filters. Instead of a new K-Cup every morning, a reusable coffee filter is a more eco-friendly change which not only helps the environment but also helps you save some money.

A reusable filter pod is a one-time investment that is long-lasting. It reduces the impact on the environment because our daily KL-cups ultimately end up as waste.

8. Teabags

Not a coffee lover? Well, we have a solution for tea lovers as well. And many tea lovers have already shifted to this better and eco-friendly habit: tea bags. Teabags effectively help save water consumption, to the extent of 20,000 gallons per year, in a household, according to data from Nebia. Tea lovers have also claimed that tea bags have a better quality than loose leaf tea.

9. LED light bulbs

The eco-friendly alternatives list will be incomplete without LED light bulbs. LED light bulbs are 80% more efficient than traditional lights. 95% of the energy in LED light bulbs is converted into light, and only 5% of the energy is wasted as heat. This means that these bulbs consume less power and therefore are more environmentally-friendly.

LED light bulbs are also cost-efficient as they significantly reduce your energy consumption bills. By saving energy they also decrease greenhouse gas emissions. LED light bulbs are highly customizable and have a lot of features with easy integration into AI systems. You can control them with remote devices, dim or brighten them, and opt for a variety of colors.

10. Compostable utensils

If you use disposable cutlery and bowls, opt for the compostable ones. Compostable cutlery and bowls are 100% biodegradable and reduce the harmful impact of plastic on the environment.

FirstChoice is a leading company that provides excellent compostable cutlery and bowls. Additionally, the company donates 10% of its annual income to NGOs working for the environment.

11. Natural laundry detergent

We all need detergent. But instead of using a detergent that uses toxic chemicals, use a detergent that is made from natural ingredients. This eco-friendly lifestyle tip will help reduce soil and water pollution. These detergents generally come in recyclable bottles and are made of 100% PCR (post-consumer recycled) materials.

12. The paperless way

Another easy eco-friendly habit to adopt is opting for a paperless lifestyle. We can collectively make a difference by using an e-reader or using fewer paper products.

If you are an avid reader or a writer, using an electronic medium can cut down on the use of paper. You can also opt-out of junk mail you receive every day and save trees. Go paperless and reduce your carbon footprint today.

Help nature replenish itself

It is every individual’s responsibility to help the environment and reduce the damage in any way they can. Shifting to an eco-friendly lifestyle can be your way of contributing to the betterment of the environment.

While environmental awareness has significantly increased across the globe, action from every individual is necessary. People should opt for other eco-friendly habits like carpooling, using electric cars and bikes, cycling to the office, conserving water, and other natural resources when they can.

Opt for an eco-friendly lifestyle in 2020 and help nature replenish itself. Live and let live!

What to do with mail for a previous resident?

You are probably frustrated about receiving bundles of mail addressed to somebody else. Getting past unwanted junk mail to reach for your own can be understandably difficult. The good news is that there are ways to stop receiving mail addressed to a previous resident.

Image of a mailbox

Care to mention “not at this address” on the outside of the envelopes

Sometimes, this is all you need to do. Collect each envelope in your mailbox that belongs to the previous resident and write “not at this address” or “return to sender”. Then drop those mails into any outgoing mailbox. 

This mention should be enough for your mail carrier to understand that the receiver does not live at this address. This would ascertain that the mentioned mail is delivered back to their respective senders. You can then hope that they will update their addressee information.

This solution will work swiftly for mails coming from small enterprises and businesses. The same holds for individual persons who may be known contacts of the previous resident. Larger corporations, however, update their addresses based on the National Change of Address database.

Cross out every barcode on the envelope

Mentioning “return to the sender” may not work if the mail sender is a large corporation and doesn’t pay attention to such mails. Crossing out the barcode on the envelope may solve this problem. 

The United States Postal Service uses an automated system to sort the mail before delivering it. Our postal system’s barcode dependent automated sorting may try to re-deliver the mail to your address even with the “not at this address” note. However, if you cross out the barcode and write “not at this address” on the envelope, that would automatically make the postal system label this mail as ‘undeliverable’. 

Stick a note on your mailbox

Write down a small note that says “[previous resident’s name] does not live here”. After reading the note, the mail carrier should ideally check for any mail addressed to the previous resident and not deliver that mail to you. 

If the small note doesn’t work, try to make the note elaborate. Make sure that your note is within the visual range of the mailbox so that the mail carrier can clearly see it. Additionally, make sure that your note is legible. 

Talk to your mail carrier about the issue in-person

This may be the easiest method of solving this problem. If you come across the person delivering the mail, communicate this problem directly to them. Politely ask them to stop delivering any mail addressed to a previous resident’s name to your address. You could also show them the mail which you may have previously received. 

Addressing your problem to the mail carrier might make them consider it and act on it. They could look deeply into the matter and check if the previous resident has filed for any change of address. 

If talking to the mail carrier doesn’t solve your problem, you could address this issue to your local post office’s station manager. 

Don’t accidentally commit a crime related to someone else’s mail 

Most of the mail you may receive addressed to a previous resident may be junk mail. However, don’t assume that all of it is unimportant. It is not okay to meddle with somebody else’s mail even when it is delivered to your address. 

You should never open a mail addressed to someone else

The U.S. law considers this act a federal offense. If you open and read any mail that is not addressed to you, you could be punished to varying degrees based on the extent of damage it could cause. In simple words, the law may consider opening someone else’s mail as theft.

In case you were not paying attention when sorting through your mail and accidentally opened a previous resident’s mail, follow these steps: 

  • Use tape to fix the envelope as neatly as possible.
  • Mention “not at this address” or “return to sender” upon the envelope.
  • Put the mail back into the mailbox. 

Try not to obstruct the delivery of mail to the concerned person. They might be as much worried as you are frustrated about the sender delivering their mail to your address.

Try not to discard somebody else’s mail

Discarding a mail addressed to a previous resident could lead to a recurring problem. You may continue to get the mail and the previous resident may never get the mail for them. This won’t help any of you.

Don’t submit a change of address form on behalf of a previous resident

You may think this is the most obvious thing to do. However, doing so may be unlawful. Instead, you can inform the previous resident to do it if you know them. 

Only the previous resident, their guardian, or an officer authorized for the job can file a change of address. If you do it on their behalf, they will be notified via mail at their current address. The previous resident could take serious action against you for filling out a form without their knowledge.

The solutions listed here should stop the mail addressed to a previous resident for most of you. Post offices and mail carriers generally do pay attention to the mentions on the envelope.

Taking efforts to stop the mail addressed to a previous resident may not be a task you would want to spend your time on. However, do for them what you would want someone else to do for you.

24 Handpicked Ideas for an Eco-Friendly Home

Going green is simpler than you think. If you want to transform your home into an eco-friendly home, you’re at the right place. Change starts at home. The task of saving our exploited planet could start in your backyard. Green activists all around the world are urging big corporations to adopt eco-friendly methods of production. Until greedy corporations learn to make the Earth’s welfare a priority, it is important to make every sustainable choice within our power. Remember, every bit counts!

A happy eco-friendly family photo

These easy and practical ideas for an eco-friendly home will open your eyes to the impact of every choice you make at your home. 

An Eco-friendly home saves a lot of water

  1. Fix all the loose taps and pipes around your house immediately. Make sure that no water outlet is dripping. Drop by drop, gallons of water could be wasted in a single day!
  2. Take the responsibility to turn off the tap when not in use. Remember this especially when you are brushing your teeth or washing your hands.
  3. Families in eco-friendly homes trade long baths for quick showers. You could also install a low-flow variety of shower heads and significantly reduce your water consumption. 
  4. It is advisable to use the dishwasher only when it is filled. It is not rational to waste a large amount of water just to wash a few plates. Wash those few dishes with your hands. And remember to not leave the tap running while you scrub the dishes.
  5. Completely discard the old way of washing cars. Use a washing cloth and a bucket instead of sprinklers. You will save a lot of water.
  6. There are numerous traditional and modern methods of rainwater harvesting. Some relatively easy methods could come handy in setting up a mini rainwater harvesting unit in your own eco-friendly house. You could choose to filter and purify this water for drinking or utilize it for non-drinking purposes. 
  7. It is important to note that not all used water has to go waste. As far as possible, make use of the relatively unadulterated water for watering the plants in your garden. This includes the water in which you wash your vegetables and fruits, and even the rice and pasta water that has to be drained off otherwise.

Eco-friendly homes consume less energy

  1. The list for this task would be endless. A large number of activities can easily be carried out without depending on non-renewable sources of energy. For example, it is so much more practical to walk to nearby places than to drive. The same applies to the use of elevators. Walking and climbing stairs would also help you stay fit and healthy. 
  2. Make it a habit to use as little energy as possible. Switch off the lights when not in use. Even better, prefer to rely only on natural light during day time. Turn on air conditioners when required.
  3. Use curtains to cover bare windows. This will reduce the heating up or the cooling down of your home with the outside temperature. Insulating your house effectively in a cold environment would also decrease your absolute reliance on thermostats. It would be even better if your eco-friendly house has a smart thermostat in place that provides the flexibility to adjust the temperature as and when you need it. 
  4. Make sure that the coils of your fridge are always clean. The same goes for water purifier filters. Dirty appliances intake more energy than clean appliances
  5. Remember to turn down the temperature of your water heater, if you use one. You don’t need to heat water to a higher temperature than you require. 
  6. You would be surprised to know that plugged-in appliances draw a significant amount of energy even when they are turned off. It is important to plug off these appliances when they are not in use. This includes your phone charger and even your television set. You may also save money on electricity bills.
  7. When your regular bulbs die out, replace them with energy-efficient light bulbs. These bulbs require a far lesser amount of energy while providing much more light. 
  8. Always notice the star rating of any new appliance you may purchase. More the number of stars, lesser will be the energy required for the appliance. 
  9. You may never regret investing in solar panels. It may not always be reliable, but this would significantly reduce your dependence on non-renewable energy sources. Becoming completely dependent on renewable energy sources would be a dream. Find out if you can easily avail of this option in your area. 
  10. This may surprise you, but you could be wasting a large amount of energy while cooking. Remember to avoid using the oven until it is necessary. It isn’t fair to preheat an oven for cooking relatively small portions of food. Use the microwave when you can. It’s generally the most efficient way to heat up and cook food. When you use the oven, put the food in it as soon as it’s pre-heated. We have all at least once forgotten and left a pre-heated oven idle without food in it.

Pay closer attention to what you buy

  1. Always make sure you aren’t buying useless things that would end up as non-biodegradable waste. Try to look for more biodegradable or recyclable options. So, next time you plan a birthday party, try to buy biodegradable plates and cups.
  2. Remain on a lookout for authentic second-hand furniture, appliances, or even clothes. Try to recycle or reuse every item you decide to take out of your house. Lesser waste goes out of an eco-friendly home.
  3. Reuse old glass containers instead of buying new ones from the market. It is important to purchase only reusable water bottles that wouldn’t pile up as plastic waste.
  4. Reduce mindless fashionable consumption of clothes and instead focus on innovating more styles within your existing wardrobe. You could even repurpose old clothes by turning them into cushion covers, or anything you want. 
  5. Decrease your consumption of products packaged in non-recyclable plastic. Remember to carry your eco-friendly bag whenever you go for shopping or to buy groceries.
  6. You could significantly reduce paper consumption by buying an e-reader for your love of books. You can avoid using new notebooks by using the backsides of unimportant documents or mail to make notes or lists. 
  7. Be wary of useless mail that arrives at your doorstep and remains in your drawer forever. Make sure your opt-out of the mail you no longer want to receive or inform companies that you prefer being notified through email. This action would help save so many trees that are cut for this purpose.

A small change in our everyday choices can have a huge positive impact on the environment. These ideas for an eco-friendly home will take you a hundred steps closer to healing the earth. Remember to tag your friends along.

3 Solutions: How to Stop Mail

If you are annoyed with junk mail and wondering how to stop your mail permanently, unfortunately, you can’t. However, if you are planning to travel for a short or extended period, there are a few workarounds. You can either hold your mail temporarily or forward it somewhere else.

A photo of some mail pieces

There are a variety of reasons why you can’t put a complete stop to your mail. The current U.S. postal system doesn’t provide an easy way to completely stop the mail. There certainly are ways to significantly reduce it. You can opt-out of most junk mail you receive but you cannot opt-out of mail that is broadly sent at a zip code level. Typically, advertisers address such letters as ‘To resident at’ or ‘To occupant at’, or ‘To Neighbors at’. Such solicitations do not honor any opt-out lists. Additionally, there are mandatory communications that can be delivered only by mail. You can opt-in for paperless statements for your bank documents or tax documents but certain communications require delivery to your home. Examples include mail for a bridge toll payment, DMV notices, or delivery of your credit card. 

Paper mail will continue to remain a part of our lives, even in a fully digitalized world. The question is how can we significantly minimize the usage of paper mail and save our trees. So, let’s look at some ways you can either temporarily pause your email or use forwarding services to stop the mail coming your way.

How do you stop your mail for a short period?

If you are planning to travel and would like to hold your mail for a short period, USPS offers a Hold Mail Service that holds your mail up to 30 days. It’s completely free to use. As per USPS’s website, you can make your hold request up to 30 days in advance or as early as the next scheduled delivery day. The service will hold all kinds of mail (including letters and packages) for all individuals at the specified address. USPS holds your mail at the local post office and once you’re back, you can either pick up your mail from the post office or request for a delivery. For more information on this option, you can find a detailed FAQ from USPS’s website here.

How do you hold your mail for an extended period?

You cannot hold your mail with USPS for more than 30 days. They will return the mail to your sender after 30 days. If you want to hold your mail for more than 30 days, USPS recommends using their mail forwarding service instead. You can request a permanent or a temporary change of address. You can request a change of address at USPS’s website for a $1.05 identity validation fee. If $1.05 feels unnecessary, you can request a change of address at your local post office for free. Although mail forwarding generally begins within 3 business days of the requested date, USPS recommends planning ahead of time. They suggest requesting it 2 weeks in advance from when you want them to begin forwarding your mail. USPS also offers a premium forwarding service that allows you to forward mail from multiple addresses to a single address.

Forwarding your mail to a virtual mailbox

Depending on your budget and need, you can also use digital mail forwarding services. These services typically receive the mail on your behalf and let you virtually access all your mail from your computer. They can be expensive and have a recurring cost. However, they come with a lot of benefits. You can forward, scan, schedule a pickup or discard mail items directly from your computer. A few popular services include US Global Mail, Earth Class Mail, Anytime Mail, and Traveling Mailbox. Some of these mail forwarding services also have a full-fledged recycling program. They give you an option to dispose of, shred and/or recycle your paper.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to opt-out of unnecessary mail and recycle all the mail you receive.

Which is the most eco-friendly toilet paper?

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and recently released a report that deep-dived into the impact of toilet paper usage on the environment. The report also shed light on which toilet paper brands were eco-friendly and how some toilet paper brands were nowhere close. According to the report, the most eco-friendly toilet paper brand is Green Forest. Green Forest makes toilet paper from 100% recycled paper. In fact, over 90% of it is post-consumer recycled content, one of the highest post-consumer recycled content any brand uses. Additionally, they follow bleaching practices that produce a reduced amount of harmful waste products. Way to go, Green Forest! You’re officially our favorite.

Image of a kid holding toilet paper rolls

The NRDC graded popular toilet paper brands from A to F based on a score that looked at whether these brands used sustainable raw material and eco-friendly processes to make the toilet paper. Naturally, Green Forest received the highest score of 285 and an A grade. The second most sustainable toilet paper brands in the list were 365 Everyday Value (100% Recycled), Earth First, Natural Value, Seventh Generation, and Trader Joe’s Bath Tissue. These brands received a score of 270 and an A grade as well.

The least eco-friendly toilet paper brands in the list were Up & Up Soft & Strong by Target, Angel Soft by Georgia-Pacific, and Quilted Northern by Georgia-Pacific. They use 0% recycled content and instead get their paper from trees at the Canadian boreal forest. Moreover, the virgin fiber used by these companies is not FSC certified. Unsurprisingly, they received a 0 score and an F grade.

Factors that make a toiler paper roll environmentally friendly

The NRDC looked at the 18 most popular toilet paper brands. They evaluated these brands for sustainability based on the following factors:

  • % of pre-consumer and post-consumer recycled content used for producing the toilet paper
  • % of full FSC certified and FSC-mix certified virgin fiber
  • % of virgin fiber that uses non-chlorine bleaching processes

NRDC used a formula to calculate the sustainability score based on the above factors. You can find the formula in NRDC’s report. 

Pre-consumer vs. post-consumer recycled content:

Many toilet paper brands use recycled content and advertise it prominently on the packaging. However, there are two types of recycled content: post-consumer recycled content and pre-consumer recycled content. Pre-consumer content helps alleviate pressure on the environment but provides fewer benefits in terms of conserving resources or reducing waste. Using post-consumer recycled content creates a smaller environmental footprint than using pre-consumer recycled content.

Post-consumer recycled content mainly includes finished material that has reached its intended end-use and completed its life cycle as a consumer item. Recycled mail is a good example of post-consumer recycled content. Pre-consumer recycled content, on the other hand, includes recovered trimming scraps from manufacturing operations. It also includes any previously manufactured but unused paper products, such as printers’ over-runs or obsolete stocks. Hence, looking at the type of recycled content used to produce toilet paper is important.

FSC certified and FSC-mix certified virgin fiber:

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is the world’s most creditable independent certifier of responsibly managed forests. An FSC logo on a product means that the wood used for manufacturing the product is sourced from FSC certified forests. Products can either be FSC certified or FSC-mix certified. FSC-mix certification is a level down and has relaxed standards than FSC certified fiber. For example, FSC-mix certification guarantees that the sourced fiber doesn’t come from illegal forests or forests harvest in violation of civil rights. However, it doesn’t guarantee other things such as protection of intact forests. As paper is a key ingredient in making toilet paper, it’s important to know whether the paper used is recycled or made from sustainably sourced wood.

Non-chlorine bleaching processes:

Bleach is used to whiten, soften, and strengthen tissue products. Toilet paper companies either use an ECF or a PCF bleach process. ECF stands for “Elemental Chlorine Free” and PCF stands for “Processed Chlorine Free”. ECF uses chlorine dioxide whereas PCF uses ozone, oxygen, and/or peroxide to bleach the paper. Brands that use 100% recycled content typically use the “PCF” process because recycled paper requires less bleach. ECF is a commonly used process amongst brands that don’t use 100% recycle content.

Between the two, PCF is more environmentally friendly because it reduces the amount of harmful waste produced during bleaching. Despite its name, ECF releases elemental chlorine gas as a by-product into air and water, affecting people, fish, and other animals.

Where does your toilet paper brand stack up on the list?

So where does your toilet paper stacks up on the list? Here’s a list of brands evaluated by NRDC:

Brand NameScoreGrade
Green Forest285A
365 Everyday Value,
100% Recycled
Earth First270A
Natural Value270A
Seventh Generation270A
Trader Joe’s Bath Tissue270A
Marcal 1000c240B
Marcal Small Steps240B
365 Everyday Value, Sustainably Soft100D
Cottonelle Ultra100D
Scott 1000100D
Scott ComfortPlus100D
Trader Joe’s Super Soft Bath Tissue100D
Charmin Ultra50F
Angel Soft0F
Quilted Northern0F
Up & Up Soft & Strong0F
Data Courtesy: NRDC Report

Toilet paper is very popular here in the west. Americans, who make up just over 4 percent of the world’s population, account for over 20 percent of global tissue consumption. Moreover, an average American uses 141 rolls of toilet paper every year, the highest per capita consumption across the globe.

In the past, the usage of toilet paper may have been justified. However, as we put more strain on Mother Earth and its resources, it’s time to rethink our old habits. It’s important to think about ways to lead a more sustainable life. As it relates to the usage of toilet paper, those ways may include buying a more sustainably sourced toilet paper roll or installing bidets in your toilet that will save over 90% of the toiler paper you use today. Let’s take small steps and make a difference.