Last week I was on a “We must unplug all appliances to save electricity!” crusade. This week it’s been replaced with “We must conserve water!” I go back and forth between the two. A little trick I learned recently was placing a brick in the toilet tank to save water. The brick displaces water in the refilling of the tank so the toilet uses less water on each flush; in effect, a low-flush toilet for the price of a single brick. But I was glancing over the city of Houston Public Works website and, while they recommend doing this trick to save water, they recommend using a plastic quart bottle filled with an inch or two of sand in place of a brick. Bricks slowly disintegrate in water and can cause damage to plumbing. I hadn’t thought of that. Be sure to place the bottle away from any operating mechanism in the toilet. According to their website, this can save you ten gallons of water a day or more.