If every Californian dropped a brick in the toilet, according to founders of the Drop-A-Brick campaign, it’d save the state 67 million gallons of water a day. “The brick I dropped was the same size as my dad’s,” says a pigtailed girl in the project’s Indiegogo video.
The Drop-A-Brick founders aren’t hawking your typical red-clay bricks. And they aren’t suggesting a mass bowel movement, either. The Drop-A-Brick is a device that promises to save water by taking up room in your toilet tank. The old-school idea is that if you displace that extra half-gallon of water with a brick, you’re not using said amount to flush your toilet. The Indiegogo page says that Drop-A-Bricks are made of a nontoxic rubber, cost $15, and arrive in the mail squished flat. They’re filled with a hydro-gel that expands once you add a bit of water and makes the thing heavy enough to sink.
It’s a great PR campaign for water-saving techniques in a state that’s probably going through its worst drought in 500 years and whose dwindling aquifers are getting slammed with billions of gallons of fracking wastewater, along with plenty of other bad news. Americans use more water flushing toilets than showering or any other activity, according to the EPA. And what’s not to love about a poop joke?
But $15 for a rubber brick? You gotta be shittin’ me! (Wink, wink.) I bet I could find me a real brick (or 10) for free. OK, OK — project founders claim that regular bricks would eventually dissolve and cause all sorts of expensive problems for people’s toilets. And these eco-friendly rubber bricks can squeeze into oddly shaped toilet tanks more easily than clay bricks. Right. But wouldn’t, like, a rock also do the job?
Still, the witty campaign does help spread awareness about Cali’s terrifying water shortage. Plus, if you do donate, you could send Drop-A-Bricks to others — and solidify (ahem) your drought-fighting legacy.