I’d started seeing this ‘UYOC‘ sign on social media and was intrigued to know what it was. ‘Understand Your Owl Calls’? ‘Undervalued Young Otters Collaborate’? No, no, no dear readers ‘Use Your Own Cup‘ is here and a revolution is beautifully happening.

I am yet to meet founder Laura Cope (we’ve met ‘on the line’) but from her social media platforms I can tell this woman is excited about the prospect of what the future of cafes and meeting spaces could be. I’m diving in…..

UYOC (pronounced you-yok) cafe guide puts together all cafes, juice bars and eateries in New Zealand and invites the owners to come together with the planet in mind and also kindness in their hearts. The directory on the website has three categories; dietary (vegan, gluten free, alcohol), Social (pet friendly, breast feeding friendly, wifi, ethically sourced coffee) and environmental (organic, local produce, no plastic straws, sells reusable cups). BUT here’s the kicker, every cafe that signs up encourages it’s customers to ‘use their own cup’ for takeaway and if they do you often receive a discount (just ask). And then, (yes there’s more magic) the proceeds go to NZ registered charities.

I told you. Magic.


Single use coffee cups are a complete waste and they end up in landfill AND if you imagine how many coffees YOU have a year, that’s you plus all the other million people doing it when you could just bring your own cup. (Landfill also includes the vast majority of ‘eco’ cups that NZ just doesn’t have the infrastructure, collection points or facilities to commercially compost).

We all love the feeling of our favourite cafe. All huddled together with our mates over our favourite brew. What could be nicer and more amazing than bringing your best cup to take away your coffee and knowing you’re a) not filling cups to go into landfill 2) sending some well needed cash to charity and c) making all your mates smile at you chipped coffee mug your nana bought you when you were ten.


This amazing guide not only gives you all the stuff you need to know about the best places in this fine land to sip the black stuff but it’s a completely amazing list of eateries and coffee places full stop! Laura you’re a legend.

If you’re a cafe and want to get involved contact Laura here and if you’re a person wanting to be responsible find out more here!

Cafes involved in Queenstown/ Wanaka:
The Exchange Queenstown
Terra Mia Arrowtown
Soul Food Organic Wanaka
Dripping Bowl Wanaka
The Fed Group (Fedeli and Federal Diner) Wanaka
The Coffee Shack Wanaka

“Business plus Kindness”. Simple.


Laura in her ‘unnatural’ habitat of having her photo taken. In PJ’s no less

I was not paid for this blog post. I was sent a lovely reusable cup but I do this because I love what Laura is doing. Come on Cafes!