Have you ever gotten into someone’s new car and heard them point out, as if with pride, that new car smell? Whether you like it or hate it, you have probably wondered what, exactly, causes that strong chemical odor. While the scientific data may not be there to prove that this smell, likely from volatile organic compounds, is harmful to one’s health, it can’t be a good thing to breathe in. And while you might not be able to do much about the car situation, you can make that vehicle—which is made with so much plastic theses days—last as long as possible, so as not to create demand for more new cars. Thankfully, however, there are options when it comes to yoga mats. Avoid mats made of polyvinyl chloride, and instead buy mats made of jute, a plant-based material, or natural rubber. Then you can take that deep breath safely, and can store your mat anywhere without smelling up the whole room!

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