If this image starts your nose itching instead of being able to simply admire the precision mowed grass, it’s quite likely you’re one of an estimated 10 million people in the UK who suffers with hay fever.
With spring already here (officially arriving in the UK on 20 March) it usually brings with it a soaring pollen count.
There are 3 pollen seasons in the UK and each has a different source: tree pollen, released during spring; grass pollen, released during the end of spring and beginning of summer and weed pollen, released late autumn.
Hay fever (or seasonal allergic rhinitis), occurs when your body makes the mistake of treating the tree pollen, or pollen from shrubs, as a harmful organism, and the immune system goes into action by making antibodies to try to prevent it spreading. This can trigger a runny nose, itchy watery eyes and coughing, sneezing and sniffling – common allergy symptoms.
How can drinking water possibly help reduce my hay fever?
Usually the first thing a hay fever sufferer does is reach for the anti-histamines, which makes sense, however, as your body has gone into overdrive producing a ‘liquid’ reaction – runny nose, watery eyes, constant sniffling and sneezing – you can dehydrate through this additional loss of fluid. This coupled with the fact that anti-histamines tend to dry you up which can also lead to your dehydrating at a faster than usual speed. That’s the one aspect to consider.
The other aspect is that according to some studies, a lack of water causes you to produce more histamine, a protein that regulates water in the body and stimulates your thirst response. Histamine also plays a role in the body’s response to pollen. When you breathe in pollen, your body releases histamine, which is a main cause of allergy symptoms. Ergo, If you’re thirsty, you have more histamine being released which may make your symptoms stronger and last longer.
There is also information gleaned from a 2013 study found that dehydrated individuals produced less allergy-blocking antibodies. With less of these antibodies, your body releases more histamine. Both of these contribute to more frequent and more intense allergy outbursts.
There’s more than one win here though – if you maintain good hydration habits, with frequent water refills from your water cooler in your workplace, as well as ensuring you carry drinking water with you when you’re out and about, not only will your general well-being increase but you may also be able to easier reduce your allergic reaction during the pollen seasons every year.
You may be aware that AquAid has, since their inception some 21 years ago, donated in excess of £14 million to charity. This extraordinary achievement is due to their commitment to ensure that, since their first day of operations, a portion of their sales is donated to charity.
Charities where the principle focus is the implementation of sustainable water projects across the globe and from AquAid’s perspective, specifically throughout Africa, where a large percentage of the world’s poorest people reside.
What you may not be aware of is that for every bottle of water purchased and for each Mains Fed Water Cooler installed, a donation is made to the charities that AquAid has supported since 1998.
The charities AquAid support:
Christian Aid – AquAid have to date donated over £3 million to this charity, resulting in sustainable water projects throughout Africa aiding more than 338,000 people.
The Africa Trust – AquAid began this charity in 2010: 19 years later, over £6 million in donations has meant more than 1.2 million people have gained access to clean drinking water through the implementation of sustainable water projects such as the Elephant Pump.
What can you do?
If you’re considering installing a water cooler, we recommend AquAid. Not only will your organisation benefit by having constant access to refreshing drinking water readily available, but for each sip you take, you’ll be making a positive change in other’s lives by enabling their access to clean drinking water.
The possibilities are truly endless. Contact AquAid today.
The sheer number of people without access to clean and safe drinking water is staggering. According to the World Health Organization, in 2015 2.1 billion people didn’t have access to safely managed drinking-water services. Of those people ‘423 million people were taking water from unprotected wells and springs; and 159 million people were collecting untreated surface water from lakes, ponds, rivers and streams.’ It’s this desperate need, the need of millions to have cleaner and safer water to drink that drives us on and that has us support the Africa Trust. With a percentage of every water dispenser sale donated to the trust, AquAid has to date donated over £6 million pounds, built over 8,000 water wells in different developing countries on the continent, and helped bring safe drinking water to more than 1.2 million people.
There are many other organizations that also keep this dire need top of mind, and one such initiative is WATERisLIFE who have developed the new clean sip straw filters – a portable water purifier that can be used in any water source to provide water that is safe to drink.
This is how it works:
‘Inside the WATERisLIFE straw are membranes, patented filter material, and active carbon, which removes the taste and medium size bacteria. The technology protects against waterborne bacteria and viruses like typhoid, cholera, E. coli, dysentery and diarrhea. The smaller filters use new groundbreaking technology to cover a broader range of contaminates. Additionally, these filters deal with heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and aluminum, arsenic, fluoride, chlorine, cadmium, giardia, E Coli, algae, hydrogen sulfide, cholera, and typhoid.’
And this is how it makes a difference:
‘Each WATERisLIFE straw filter will provide hundreds of liters of clean water (typical use is 2-3 liters of water per day per person). Once it is no longer effective, the straw will stop being able to draw water. $10 puts a filter into the hands of a person who desperately needs it. ‘
If you also want to know that you’re making a difference and helping to bring clean and safe drinking water to hundreds of thousands of people, then choose an AquAid watercooler or water dispenser, because with every cup of AquAid water you help bring water to Africa.
We often talk about our carbon footprint – it’s a concept we’re familiar with out of necessity, because so much of what we do, or don’t do, affects our climate globally. But the same concept can be applied to water, whether it’s water out of the watercooler, irrigation water or washing water – nearly everything we do or consume is touched by water in some way and so it too has a footprint.
Building on the notion of virtual water first introduced by Professor Tony Allan in 1993, Professor Arjen Hoekstra in 2002 created the water footprint – a way of measuring how much water is consumed in the production of goods and services along the entirety of the supply chain. In the mid 2000’s global big-brand companies became more and more aware of their dependence on water and the water-related risks they faced, which in turn inspired Hoekstra in 2008 to create the Water Footprint Network – a gathering of the brightest minds dedicated to showing how Water Footprint Assessment can help us move forward and overcome the challenges of unsustainable water use.
Their vision: ‘A world in which we share clean fresh water fairly amongst all people to sustain thriving communities and nature’s diversity.’
Their mission: ‘To use the water footprint concept to promote the transition toward sustainable, fair and efficient use of fresh water resources worldwide.’
So what can we do in our personal capacity to reduce our water footprint you might ask? Well there are two ways we can make a difference – directly and indirectly.
Directly we can reduce our own consumption by installing water-saving devices in our homes; we can make small changes like closing the tap while we brush our teeth; and we can use less water in our gardens.
Indirectly we have two options: we can change what we consume – for example a shift from eating meat to becoming vegetarian, drinking tea instead of coffee, or better yet visiting the water dispenser more often and just drinking more plain water; or if these shifts seem too extreme, we can stay with what we consume, but choose those products (the cotton, beef or coffee) that has a lower water footprint. But this requires that we know more about the relevant products, and manufacturers aren’t always as forthcoming as they should be, so this is something else consumers can do – we can drive more transparency from the various key players.
Every action we take has a consequence – so let’s be sure to make it a positive one!