I'm Laura

I'm Laura and I founded UYOC just over a year ago. I am thrilled to bits to work with and for so many responsible cafes who have a genuine passion about reducing single use waste in an industry where it is very hard to do.  Read on to learn more...

 

UYOC came in to being as a way of addressing several issues at once. Our ultimate goal is to produce funds with which to support charities and NGOs who are working to alleviate suffering and protect the natural world (our cafes supply the funds through their membership). But while doing this, we also wanted to change our toxic relationship with single-use waste, as we see it, prima facie, as a physical menace, but in the second instance, as a symptom of a society increasingly detached from its own well-being.

 

For us, single-use coffee cups are the poster girl of our present disposable culture. They represent a disregard for personal responsibility and a disassociation with the effects of our actions, in the name of convenience, media fuelled trend, consumerism, and profit driven immediacy. Our mission is to re-sensitize each other to common-sense, by appealing our inherent sense of survival (our land, air and water will not sustain this abuse). But this appeal to protect our earth, only has weight with a small percentage of those holding the people power. So we use the social media platform of the UYOC guide, instagram @uyoc.nz, to put out a call to arms. To appeal to kindness and logic, and to challange ego, ideas of status and all the shallow and superficial mainstream-media-driven elements that allow and enable a wasteful culture to persist – the elements that are so prevalent as driving forces in the fickle world of hospitality. We need to instigate a demand-shift, a refusal of the present norm: consumers must drive this movement as businesses will only change course if they perceive a shift in the current - but they will change when our dollars speak. 

 

UYOC hope that once the habit of disposable coffee cups is broken, by whatever means, we hope that other selfish and thoughtless habits will begin to fall – the use of single use water bottles, plastic straws, plastic bags, and then, when that transition to conscious and thoughtful behaviour is under way, we hope that a wider sense of caring, community and responsibility for each other and the world around us will develop. Disposable coffee cups, for UYOC, are the thin edge of the wedge. We believe once we remove the acceptability of using something once then discarding it, about the lack of weight given to our actions, we can then move forward as a society, to a place where our attitude towards each other, our natural capital and our role as stewards for the future is one of responsible awareness.

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