Written By 
Kate Hall in collaboration with UYO

Date Published
5th October 2019



Picture this.

You’re rushing to work with a to-do list in your mind that is physically too big to write down on paper. The traffic was manic, and you just took off your sweater as quickly as you possibly could; it was inside out. Now you’re waiting in line for that crucial morning coffee to kickstart your day, but you realise it’s impossible for you to reach into your handbag and grab your reusable coffee mug…

It’s on the kitchen bench.


Since you’re a clever cookie and know disposable coffee cups wreck the planet, you make the tough but crucial decision to have your coffee in. You endure 10 minutes of sitting in the cafe breathing, reflecting, and watching passersby. As you waltz to work, you realise you’re actually okay. Your to-do list feels less daunting, your breathing has slowed, your mind is calm, and you get through your to-do list by 2pm.

Maybe reducing your waste has more benefits than simply protecting the planet?

Boycotting single use items and opting for reusables is an exercise in mindfulness. The art of eating in, the mind game of remembering your reusables, and the slowness that comes from choosing the planet over convenience, are all major benefits for your body, mind, and soul.



Your body benefits from eating slowly, boycotting take-out, and avoiding single use plastics that can leach chemicals into your meal. When you adopt a low-waste mindset, you’re choosing to respect your body as well as the planet.



In this busy world, it seems as though our minds are on autopilot. Remembering your own containers for lunch, leaving strategic coffee cups in cars, cupboards, and handbags ‘just-in-case’, and taking a second to sit and eat, are excellent for challenging and shifting your mind.

Choosing reusables and less waste also proves that mindfulness doesn’t have to be found on a yoga retreat. It can be found in the 5 minutes you take out of your day to spend with just you and your almond milk Chai Latte.



No matter what type of theory you have for why humans exist on earth, no one can deny that we rely on this planet to survive. We need to look after it in order to continue to eat, live, and exist in community with loved ones. When we stop extracting precious resources from the planet, and stick to habits that involve less waste and destruction, our souls thrive.

You may think mindfulness and reusables have nothing to do with each other, but on the contrary, they have everything in common. You body, mind, and soul will thank you next time you choose to ditch waste and choose to reuse.


If you’re out and about, looking for a cafe that will gladly accept you and your reusable coffee cup or containers, or simply want to devour plant based options and eat in, head to New Zealand’s Online Cafe Directory: www.uyo.co.nz