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Household mother shares her water-saving techniques

2009-11-09 15:23 BJT

Xingong community in Dadukou District awarded the "penny pincher" title to Zhou Nianxiu on November 4, saying that she is so stingy with water that she pays only seven yuan a month in bills, and is an utter "penny pincher". Since the title was awarded, nearby residents have been envious of Zhou and asked her to disclose money saving tips.

68-year-old Zhou lives in the ninth building of the second section in Xingong community, Dadukou District. She said that her economic water consumption is fully dependent on her five "treasures" at home, and then smiled mysteriously before inviting reporters to her home to see the "rare treasures". In the kitchen, Zhou gathered together five buckets that she has used for over 20 years and said with a smile, "These are my 'treasures' and my money saving tip."

"I call them "bucket" with the "er" sound of the local dialect," said Zhou. The five buckets act as good assistants helping the family to save water. Over the last 20-plus years, the family has reused water in the five buckets every day and their water bill has never exceeded seven yuan per month. Even for the month during which the Chinese Spring festival falls, the bill came to just eight yuan.

Zhou named the five buckets according to their usage sequence: vegetable-washing bucket, clothing-washing bucket, toilet-flushing bucket, floor-mopping bucket and dish-washing bucket. The water in the half-filled vegetable-washing bucket is used to wash rice first, then vegetables, and finally poured into the floor-mopping bucket to clean the floor. After a meal, water used to wash dishes will be poured from the dish-washing bucket into the toilet-flushing bucket for cleaning the toilet. "The water in the clothing-washing bucket can be used to both mop the floor and flush the toilet," said Zhou.

"By reusing water, we consume such a little amount per day,"said Zhang Guoqiang, Zhou's husband. One day, an old friend dropped in on the family and learned that Zhou washed rice and vegetables with water in a half-filled bucket before putting the used water into another bucket, and then forcefully twisting a mop in the bucket. The friend exclaimed immediately, "What on earth are you doing?" Zhou smiled and replied, "It is a secret."

Li Chengzhen, who lives next door to Zhou, always saw Zhou work beside the five buckets whenever she visited her home. When Li asked what she was doing, Zhou always smiled and said nothing. Zhou's daughter Zhang Feifei dislikes her mother's stingy way of using water and said, "Water conservation is good, but my mother goes too far."

Zhou said with a sigh that she has long gotten used to being frugal, and is unwilling to let others know that she reuses water with five buckets. "I am afraid of being called 'fuddy-duddy' or 'penny pincher'". She was "forced" to disclose her water saving tips after the community awarded her the "penny pincher" title. Mr. Duan, director of the Xingong community residential committee, said that it has long been known that Zhou's water bill is extremely low, but he did not know why until he recently had a detailed discussion with Zhou. He added, "The water-saving "penny pincher" title was granted in a hope that every resident may learn from Zhou's water-saving traditional virtue."


Translated by LOTO

Editor: Shi Taoyang | Source: