Easter is an extraordinarily significant annual period for millions of people globally. It signifies a combination of both sombre and celebratory observances across many belief’s calendars.
One element that has a large significance in these observances is that of water. A few examples from around the globe are:
Neighbourhood children in Poland practice a particularly joyful Easter Monday tradition. They drench one another with buckets of water (often while the victim is still asleep in bed). One theory attributes the practice to the botanical affections of European pagans, likening the waterlogging of friends to the saturation of the holy Corn Mother.
More water splashing takes place at an annual Water Festival in several countries in Southeast Asia. In addition to the simple splashing of water, the Asian cultures’ variation on the Polish practice involves boat races, floating river lanterns, and the dousing of a Buddhist statue. The holiday is rooted in the Dai association of water with religious purity, good luck, and good will. Soaking your friend or neighbour with a hearty splash is meant to bestow him or her with good fortune.
In Switzerland, people decorate wells and fountains leading up to Easter. Decorating a well symbolises the honouring of water, which is essential for life, and Easter, the feast of renewed life.
Here at AquAid, we’re very cognisant of the importance of water in our daily lives and we’re sure each of our 23 branches no doubt celebrates Easter in their own manner. From us to you, however you choose to celebrate Easter; we do hope it’s peaceful and blessed.
Love it or hate it, today’s that one day of the year that brings out the pranksters around the world. Personally, I’ve never been a fan, perhaps an underdeveloped sense of humour, but there’s no denying that there have been some awfully clever April Fools pranks played over the years.
Guinness Mean Time: On 31 March 1998 an article in the Financial Times detailed an agreement that had been struck between the Old Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England and the Guinness brewery, wherein Guinness would be declared the official beer sponsor of the Observatory’s millennium celebration. Greenwich Mean Time would be renamed Guinness Mean Time, and instead of counting seconds in “pips,” as was traditional, the Observatory would count them in “pint drips.” This news led to a slightly bruised ego and a curt retraction on behalf of the Financial Times when they were made aware that it was meant for April Fools.
Planetary Alignment Decreases Gravity: In 1976, British astronomer, Patrick Moore, told radio listeners that at 9.47 a.m. the earth was going to experience a feeling of less gravity. He said that Jupiter and Pluto would cross and if listeners jumped in the air at exactly 9.47 a.m. they would feel the sensation of having no gravity. Hundreds of listeners phoned the radio to say they had jumped and floated in the air.
Swiss Mountain Cleaners: The Swiss Tourism Board released a video on the 1st of April 2009 that revealed the secret of why their mountains look so clean. It was due to the hard work of the Association of Swiss Mountain Cleaners, whose members daily scaled the Alps, scrubbing the rocks of unsightly bird droppings. The cleaning not only maintained the beauty of the Alps, but also prevented the droppings from eating away at the rocks, causing cavities that might eventually lead to the complete erosion and disappearance of the mountains. Millions of people watched the video, and 30,000 took the online test to determine whether they had what it took to become a mountain cleaner (aka “Felsenputzer”). Later that year, due to popular demand, the Brunni cable car company began offering an actual mountain cleaning course that attracted would-be Felsenputzers from around the world.
Today, with all of the technology we have at hand, it’s probably unlikely that such hoaxes wouldn’t be dismissed almost immediately, but then again, perhaps it’s actually easier to fool people precisely because of the technology we have?
Rest assured, here at AquAid, although we have a fine sense of humour, it’s unlikely that we’ll be playing any April Fools on anyone this year; although that said, did I mention that we’ve been selected to supply water coolers and water to the first crewed Mars mission in 2031?
Earlier this year the European Commission announced plans to ban single-use cutlery, plates, straws, cotton buds and balloon sticks by 2021 in a new initiative to reduce marine pollution. We all know how dire the situation is with regards plastic pollution and how it affects our lands and oceans, along with animal and human life alike. So, one of the biggest reasons to switch to instant taps, mains fed water coolers or AquAid refillable 19ltr bottles reused between 30 and 35 times, is the fact that it does away with plastic bottles or greatly reduces the amount of plastic used.
The most common type of plastic pollution in our oceans is nurdles – these are the plastic pellets used to create other plastic products. Along with polystyrene, plastic bags and food containers, they make up the vast majority of marine debris, it is estimated that there are around 165 million tons of plastic pollution in the sea – and it forms the greatest threat to large marine mammals. Not only can they become entangled in the plastic which then curbs their movement and ability to find food, but ingested it can block their digestive system which ultimately leads to starvation. In addition to the physical impact of plastic pollution on creatures, it can also poison their system which in turn affects the food chain and our own source of food. It is estimated that nearly 500,000 marine mammals die each year due to plastic pollution in our oceans.
Left in landfills, plastic does not fare any better. Chlorinated plastic releases dangerous chemicals into the earth which can seep into underground water supplies harming the surrounding ecosystem and drinking water. In addition to this potential water pollution, another form of pollution is the methane gas released as plastic biodegrades which significantly adds to global warming – as arctic ice melts and recent heat waves can attest to.
While great efforts are made to promote responsible recycling, and while collectively we are doing a better job of reducing and re-using, which does minimize global impact, we still have a long way to go. And in a corporate setting one of the easiest ways to do our bit is to provide a more environmentally friendly water alternative for employees – if we can offer them safe, easily accessible drinking water via instant taps, mains fed water coolers or via our 19ltr refillable bottle, it prevents staff from having to buy small half-litre bottles of water which immediately reduces the amount of plastic being disposed of. If you need a tailored water solution that perfectly fits your needs and the needs of your employees, while also benefiting the environment – call AquAid today.
Begun in 2010, the Africa Trust is an AquAid founded charity that works on the principles of wealth creation and sustainable solutions to poverty.
Since our rather humble beginnings in 1998 as a home water cooler supplier, until now, as one of the UK’s leading water cooler suppliers, helping people in need has always been an integral aspect of the AquAid ethos.
Now, in our 20th year of operations, we look back at the annual milestones that evidence the successes of our commitment to charity.
2017 IN REVIEW:
The total number of beneficiaries at the start of 2017 was 2,192,435 and 209,908 new beneficiaries were added by the end of the year. A total of 683 new pumps were installed in 2017 compared to 607 in 2016. Most of these pumps were installed in Zimbabwe with five pumps built in Tanzania and one built in Kenya.
The Africa Trust’s Elephant Pump programme is having a major positive impact on the lives of over a million Zimbabweans who collect clean drinking water and water for productive use every day. Aside from 683 new pumps installed last year, the Africa Trust continues to implement sustainable wealth creation projects. Examples are an income generating farm project which now provides a sustained and growing income stream that helps towards the cost of emergency relief. A dairy project and the bananas for fees projects continue to grow with 510 new beneficiaries added.
The Africa Trust also implements wealth creation and sustainable relief projects in:
Kenya: A business skills training programme continues to grow. One such new business started under the programme (a maize mill) now employs over a dozen HIV+ widows who would otherwise have been in desperate poverty following their husbands’ deaths due to AIDS.
Liberia: Positive feedback received about the pumps and toilets installed in previous years. A school was helped to become self-sufficient by starting a project to raise ducks and chickens.
Mozambique: The ‘Baby’ Elephant Pumps installed for use by smaller family communities are doing well.
Tanzania: Elephant Pumps; Elephant Toilets; Business Skills Training.
Uganda: Business skills training; job creation; retirement planning (thus helping break the cycle of poverty).
Contact us at AquAid to find out how becoming an AquAid customer equates to ensuring sustainable solutions to poverty and the provision of safe drinking water to those who need it most.
I’ve been reading through my notes for the blogs for this week and it all became a little overwhelming. So I let my brain head out West and the rest of me went to top up on the java.
Then my brain knocked politely, ‘Coo-ee, I’m back’ it warbled.
‘What?’ the coffee-enjoying-rest of me replied. ‘You come up with anything useful out West?’
A lengthy discussion ensued ….
Anyhow, as it turns out, the brain told me it got to thinking about all the other lesser (according to it) but just as vital (according to all of them) organs that we humanoids are blessed with and guess what? ALL OF THEM need sufficient water to keep the g-g-greased lightning performance.
Kidney and Liver Function
One of the liver’s primary functions is to metabolise stored fat into energy. The kidneys are responsible for filtering toxins, wastes, ingested water and salts out of the bloodstream. If you are dehydrated, the kidneys cannot function properly and the liver must work overtime to compensate. As a result, it metabolises less fat, your metabolism slows down to conserve water, which leads to weight gain and can contribute to belly fat.*
Dehydration can cause insufficient oxygenation of the tissue of the cardiovascular system. The heart rate increases in response to the tissue oxygen deficit. Tachycardia, or a heart rate greater than 100 beats per minute, occurs. Severe dehydration can trigger irregular heart rhythms, especially in people with an underlying heart condition.*
Command Central i.e. The Brain
Brain cells require the right amount of water and minerals in each of the cells. If there is too much water, the cell’s membrane can break; if there is not enough, the cell will shrivel up. When there is brain dehydration, less water is available for brain cells to use. *
Importance of Water
Almost two-thirds of the human body is made up of water and water acts as a natural appetite suppressant. It also helps to regulate your metabolism. When you become dehydrated, your metabolism slows down, affecting how your body burns fat. Your body mistakes thirst for hunger, which leads to increased calorie consumption. This can lead to stubborn fat gathering around your stomach, which is difficult to lose.*
Bearing all of this in mind, also remember that water weight is not the same as ‘blob’ weight, so whereas you may think that because your body is retaining water it means you’re gaining weight, this is not the case. Your body is desperately trying to tell you, by retaining water, that it doesn’t have enough to function properly.
There’s no need for concern though, indeed you can celebrate and revel in the fact that throughout the UK, clean, fresh drinking water transported from source to your office, school or site is readily available from AquAid through our range of water coolers. Drink up!
* sourced from an article at Livestrong
Choosing the right water cooler or water boiler for your company is not always an easy task. Once you’ve established what your needs are, you have to shop around for a reputable supplier and then choose from a myriad of different models and plans. It’s a long-term investment and can seem costly, which is why when choosing between suppliers, people sometimes tend towards the cheaper option, thinking they’ll save money in the long run, but what so many forget is the service element and how that can incur unnecessary costs and lost productivity over time, particularly when a machine breaks down or your office runs out of water.
Imagine the following scenario: an employee discovers the water cooler is broken and spends a few minutes trying to figure out what’s wrong; eventually they realise there’s nothing they can do, so they report it to the office manager – 10 minutes wasted. In the interim, other staff members attempt to use the water cooler only to be disappointed; they then spend a few minutes complaining amongst themselves and struggling to get back to whatever tasks they were busy with – 10 minutes wasted. The office manager puts a call through to the supplier – if it’s a national call centre, research shows that we can spend upwards of 27 minutes on hold waiting for someone to address our problem – 27 minutes wasted. Once the office manager finally reaches the right person who can deal with their issue, they then spend more precious time explaining what’s wrong and why they require a call out – 5 minutes wasted.
If you ever want to know what constitutes bad service, spend some time reading through any of the review aggregators online – it may take days before someone can come out to repair your machine, and if the supplier runs an inefficient service where miscommunication runs rife, it may take more than one visit before your water dispenser is fully functional again. Let’s assume, conservatively, that it takes three days before your water cooler is up and running again. During that time, frustrated employees will spend time querying the progress of the repair and even more time complaining about their lack of access to water – over those three days, there will be at least 60 minutes wasted. Not only will they waste time complaining, but studies show that their general unhappiness will further impact their productivity, so even when they’re not specifically querying or complaining, their efficiency will still be affected.
With a bad supplier, each step along the way is wasted time, lost productivity and eventually lost revenue. If we add together all that lost time, it comes to a total of 112 minutes wasted and if we want to allocate a monetary value to that loss, we can work on the average wage in the UK of £13.94 per hour or 23 pence per minute – which means your company has wasted £25.76 thanks to a bad supplier.
By contrast, when you use a leading water cooler supplier like AquAid, you can rest assured that excellent service and customer satisfaction are of paramount importance. AquAid may be nationwide, but they don’t have call centres; each office has its own administration and delivery department which means your call goes directly where it needs to, and if the above scenario was to happen, they would provide a quick and efficient turnaround that would have you back online in typically 24 hours. AquAid customers spend on average £30 per month or £360 per annum. When shopping around for reputable water cooler suppliers, people will often choose the least expensive option allowing a saving of 5% or in this case £18 per year to sway them, but as becomes evident over time and in the scenario above, that saving is quickly lost to bad service. While AquAid may seem slightly more expensive than some of the entry-level water cooler suppliers, their efficiency and attention to detail will ultimately save you time and money in the long run – unlike a bad supplier, which could end up costing you far more than you’d envisaged.