• Michal Garvey

Join us in wishing Laura Happy Birthday!

Today I’d like to invite you all to join me in wishing the amazing Laura Cope a massive Happy

Birthday! How you may ask? It’s easy, use your own cups and containers, today and every day and tag @UYO.nz so she can see your gift to her.

Laura Cope using a jar for a coffee cup

It might seem like a slightly strange request to ask you to wish someone you and I have never even met HBD. Let me explain.


Laura is the brains behind UYO - Use Your Own. They’ve been helping cafes normalise reuse since ‘17. She was sick of a whole lot of talk being matched with inaction so she picked the coffee cup to pick on and started the UYO platform.


The UYO website is a not-for-profit, responsible-cafe finder. It’s a directory that covers the whole of Aotearoa and it’s where you can find cafes that support using your own containers and cups as well as other future-focused actions, like plant-based options, refilling your water bottles and responsible food waste.


Their Instagram is both highly entertaining and inspiring. If you don’t know UYO, give them a follow.


Single-use cups, containers and cutlery are designed to be used for just a few minutes and then be disposed of. They’re a waste of the resources that make them, whether they’re compostable, recyclable, biodegradable or even plastic, it’s literally a product that’s been designed to be thrown away - what the?! Then they not only fill up our landfills, but they also end up on roadsides, beaches, in bodies of water, backyards and in animals. This madness needs to stop and it can stop with you.


Using your own cups and containers is one of the easiest actions you can take to reduce your impact on the environment. It’s easy - when you’re going to grab a coffee, bring a cup for it to go in. It doesn’t have to be fancy - if you don’t have a ‘takeaway’ cup get creative, take a mug from the kitchen or even use a jar. I’ve used both and baristas love it! If you’ve already mastered the coffee cup, take the next step and take your containers for your food. Again it doesn’t have to be fancy like the lovely pink Porter one you see on our Instagram. Your trusty Sistema or an ice cream container work just as well. Remember Foodprint has our BYO Container tick box to make this super easy for you!


Usually, I use the same Keep Cup that I brought in 2014, it’s been all around the world with me. People think it’s weird that I travel with it, but I use it every single day, so why would I not?! I’ve even been known to use it for a glass of wine on the plane. I keep a container or two in my car so I’m never caught out along with some reusable chopsticks and what was designed to be a single-use spoon that I’ve never thrown away. Set yourself up with a little reusable kit and you’ll be ready to go too!

My favourite reusables

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