and All Living Things...

Ok. First day of a new year. All these things, that the UYOC cafes support, they are for you - not some abstract concept of ‘the environment’. They are so future you (perhaps a vulnerable and old and frail you) has the chance to be safe, without war, without hunger, without thirst, without panic or uncertainty. So this year, take care of yourself? 

☕️ All single-use coffee cups are stupid. They’re unnecessary, unsustainable and make us look like we’re too lazy or selfish to get it together enough to drink in or choose a reusable. Also, for social media users, there are a multitude of other ways to rep your favourite coffee or café that don’t involve pressuring them to keep buying rubbish, and that don’t make them an obvious part of the waste stream problem - in NZ and around the world. A bin full of branded coffee cups is a baaad look for any café - whatever cups are made of. Make time to stay. Use Your Own Cup. Use a cafes cup swapping, mug library system - just tell single use bye bye now. It’s not funny anymore.

💧Bottled water is a scam. Making money selling water? WTF! Would you buy bottled air (PADI divers excluded)? Nope. Because you have some. Think and plan ahead. And if you’re really shrivelled and don’t have your water flask with you, don’t be nervous about asking for tap water. No one is going to decline another human a request for a drink of water...and if you come across a café that does...shit...don’t go back ever again! And avoiding all single use bottled drinks - magic. Just magic. Soft-drink empires will not voluntarily step up and stop creating pollution - while we continue to buy, companies will continue to make.

🍰Taking our own containers to a restaurant or café to take home leftovers is smart. It says them $$ on waste collection and saves us $$ on tomorrow’s lunch. It also reduces methane production from landfill. We don’t need more greenhouse gases. Nah. No chef in the world would be unhappy to know that you loved your meal soooo much you can’t bear to leave any behind. Make their day. And be a planet Unfucker at the same time.

🍱 Using Your Own...wait for it...Container 😉 for take outs is superb form, too. Saving the cafes packaging dollars and saving shit from landfill. Whatever the packaging is made from, wheatgrass, plants, freakin rose petals, it’s all organic matter that is grown some where that could be growing food or carbon sinks for the benefit of the local population, and has to go somewhere when we’ve done with it. Just reuse. Reuse the shit out of everything. Got a plastic ice cream tub? Write your name and curry order on the lid and ask for your take out in it. You’ll be remembered and you’re helping hospo fight waste. Priceless.

🐮 The dairy and meat industry is bullshit. We can let it go. Economically, it brings in waaaay less to our economy than tourism and of course threatens the future of our tourism industry: it trashes our rivers, our land and our air. Globally, it’s a menace. This is undisputed ~ it’s not a matter of opinion or politics or ethics. Cutting down on meat and dairy is the biggest, biggest thing we can do to slow the impact of climate change, of land degradation, deforestation, water pollution and general bad freakin news for all living things. Swap out the milk. Try something new. To say ‘but I need milk in my coffee’ at the expense of everyone and everything is madness now. Eat local and eat plants and eat clean. Healthy you, healthy world, healthy future.

🥤 Ok. The bottom line for cafes is this - hospo can’t clean its game up without us. Without our support, even our permission. They’re trying to make a living which means they have to give us what we want or we go elsewhere. We’re rubbish like that. They can’t stop stocking single use cups until we stop using them, but will we stop using them if they still offer them? They can’t serve less dairy until we stop ordering it, but will we stop asking for it while it’s on the menu? So, it’s a chicken or egg thing. We’re the chickens and we need to stop using disposables, so the cafes can feel like good eggs, while still being able to pay the mortgage.

🌏 The bottom line for us is we need to step up. No more excuses. Be tough with ourselves and each other. Start looking at the way we’re living and start giving a ****. Because not being bothered is making a mess of everything, and sooner, not later, it’s going to be too late to turn it around. So just step up. it’s imperative. Start with making these small changes and stick to them. Then after a bit, ask yourself what else you can do? Please, please, please - I’m close to tears here. We have to do this shit. We have to take responsibility. It’s not funny to not care and when we look at what is at stake, shit me, it’s almost criminal...

We can do this. In New Zealand, anyone with a phone and an instagram account can do this. We can spread the word, encourage each other and not make it 100% clear that the small but destructive life choices that are affecting us all are not acceptable any more. Not big. Not clever.

Use Your Own Cup, and other stories.

With love, Laura x

 

Image from Grace Taylor at Tender Ghost. Click HERE for more of her goregous work 

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