You should know this about me: I love tea. Green tea, white tea, white tea with cucumber, black tea on occasion, but most of all, yummy chai latte. I'm as addicted to tea as some folks are to coffee. I drink it first thing in the morning to wake-up; I drink it as a pick-me-up in the digestion hour after lunch; I drink it because its just so tasty. I love tea so much that I bought a Keurig (and, yes, I meticulously deconstruct the cups to be recyclable). Now, as you know, I spend a lot of time visiting zoos and aquariums. And while I'm there, I always visit the gift shops. I like to support the institutions so always buy something. Most gift shops carry similar product. Plush, t-shirts, plastic bugs and rubber snakes. I've got a drawer full of t-shirts already. I'm (supposedly) too old for plush. We can all use more plastic bugs and rubber snakes, but recently, I realized these purchases could be productive; I could purchase something that benefits both the zoo and myself.
Enter my blossoming collection of zoo and aquarium mugs. Every gift shop has at least one mug. Better gift shops have a selection of mugs. I can now judge an experience based on the quality of the mug. The mug is a reflection of brand. A mini billboard sitting in my cupboard. What does your mug say about your institution? I encourage zoos and aquariums out there to pay more attention to their mug product. Seriously. Your coffee and tea addicts will agree.