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Remember bricks in the toilet?

Save 75 gallons of water per year, and 16% on your water bill by filling a half gallon jug with water, sealing it and putting it in your toilet's water tank. Or put a couple of bricks in to displace the water. For newer tanks, smaller bottles may be needed.

tiolet artWeather patterns aside, long-term water conservation is essential, says Ann Vickers, author of "The Handbook of Water Use and Conservation" (WaterPlow Press, 2001), because of our ever-increasing population.

"By 2050, this country is going to be over 400 million (people). That's an additional 100 million people who are going to need drinking water, and we don't have any new water we can create."

Bring gift-wrapped bricks to your friends and encourage them to save, too. Or recycle those half gallon milk containers as gifts for the same purpose. It's the thought that counts, right?

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Speaking of WATER BOTTLES, it's time to stop using them -- the amount of plastic we're manufacturing, transporting and pitching is creating massive problems. It's best to drink tap water where safe or to filter at one point in your home, then use refillable water bottles.