Use your own cup day

December 11th is Use Your Own Cup Day, a day of power for the people to say “no more” to single use throwaway cups (that we use for 4.5 seconds as we chug our mocha choca latte). 

This is a day for you to get really really organised (you can do it!) and have your cup, jar, bottle, container everywhere you might need it to get your coffee or hot beverage: In your bra, your car, your sports bag.
We don’t need single use, we don’t want it and we can do it.

Cafes all around Aotearoa are encouraged to get involved.
UYO have posters and guides for hospitality on their
website. They can go single use cup free for the day, or offer deals for customers who use their own cups. They could hold a ‘best mug’ competition, retail reusables at a discount, surcharge for single use cups and donate the $$ to a local cause. Many cafes will be offering a limited amount of free coffees to customers who refuse single use.
You can keep an eye on what is happening via UYO on Instagram. 

There’s also a push in Wellington at the Waterfront for cafes to take on the challenge of Use Your Own Cup day on the 11th December or go waste free for five whole days 9-13th Dec. Simon Edmonds (owner of Tua Tua Cafe) is using his voice for good in Wellington to support cafes to get onboard and make this something they become known for and make waste reduction something they can be proud of.

Simon hopes this day will be a marker for Wellington Waterfront establishments to end the use of single use cups and for their patrons to get organised and bring their own cup. He also hopes this to become an annual event which will grow and they can build on. Not just cutting out single use coffee cups but also other waste streams. The hope is that this encourages other regions to adopt similar events and push forward for it to become a standard thing. 

Use Your Own Cup Day
Use Your Own Cup Day

Lockdown for Simon was a time of reflection and also the realisation that consumerism can change, can look different and can be built with the earth and the future in mind. This quiet time got him thinking that the cafe scene needs to do things differently from now on and together they can.
Together their voice can be stronger. 

This was never a solo venture for Simon, the collective culture he wants to create through this kōrero/ discussion is one of inclusion, the first spark showing new ways of doing things (that will filter into more conversations about waste, all single use, helping and supporting each other) and a common consensus that there is an alternative for consumers to operate. It then just becomes the ‘norm’. 


Use your own cup day


See how excited I AM!

Simon’s love of the waterfront and the people who gather there, the community of diverse people drinking coffee, enjoying the water and being often bashed by the wind that hits the front, is the reason he settled his cafe there in the first place. He loves watching people gather to chat, ride their bikes and discuss the events of the time. This is where the common bond of wanting to do ‘good’ will start. 

Use Your Own Cup Day

Simon has found most cafes are fully onboard with the prospect of minimising single use waste for environmental and economic reasons, and hopes that having a Wastefree Waterfront on Use Your Own Cup Day could be a catalyst for change in the future. Cafes are excited by the opportunity to do something that feels really good, together.

UYO is just one of the community groups supporting Simon for this event. They will be supporting the Wastefree Waterfront initiative by working with Wellington’s passionate foodie and social media community: ‘adopting’ participating cafes, promoting their actions, running giveaways and gifting free coffees to encourage customers to step up and use their own cups.  

Use Your Own Cup Day








At this point they would like to ask: 

A) Are you in Wellington and do you have jars or time? The Wastefree Waterfront team have a working bee on Saturday 28th Nov from 10:30am at Aro community centre, to de-label jars, enjoy drinks and snacks. Come along! Find out more here

B) Are you a social media user? If so, can you share your intention to be single use cup free for December 11th in the lead up to this national event? See the UYO website for more information about working with them to share your content and support hospo, in Wellington, or anywhere in Aotearoa…

C) Would your workplace like to get involved in exchange for some social media affection? Posters declaring your support for the day can be found 

D) Come down to the Waterfront on Use Your Own Cup day and take part in workshops, support cafes, have lunch, drink coffee, be part of this.

UYO and their Use Your Own Cup Day is part of the solution to our waste problem. Changing mindset, changing habits, changing the world. Support them this 11th December and show you want a different future. 


Tua Tua Cafe 

I worked with UYO because I love them and want to support them in all they do.