San Francisco Creative Community Comes Together To ‘Drop-a-Brick’ In California Water Conservation Movement




Rising Sun Energy Center Brings the Time-Honored

Tradition Of Dropping A Brick In The Toilet Tank to

California Toilet Flushers Statewide

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, (NOVEMBER 24, 2014) – With California in a water crisis, two San Francisco Bay Area non-profits have teamed up in a unique initiative to save California communities water. Rising Sun Energy Center, a leading green workforce development organization, and Project: Drop-A-Brick, a public service initiative providing water-saving devices to the public, will now be dropping bricks in toilets across California to save millions of gallons of water a year.

These are not regular bricks, mind you. The Drop-A-Brick product is a Silicon Valley take on the long-standing conservation tradition of placing a brick in the toilet tank to displace, and in turn, save water. Unlike a real brick, the Drop-A-Brick is an ecologically-designed and green-friendly brick that is light to ship, safe to use (it doesn’t destroy toilets like standard clay bricks) and consistently saves half a gallon on every flush.

The partnership will see Drop-A-Bricks being donated to Rising Sun Energy Center to install in California homes through its youth employment program, California Youth Energy Services (CYES). As part of a youth development and green jobs training program, CYES offers no-cost in-home energy and water education and hardware installation to homeowners and renters alike through its Green House Call service.

This comes at a time when California is desperate to save water in every way possible. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, toilets are the home’s biggest water waster, consuming 30% of water usage. The average toilet flush in California is a little more than one gallon over the Federal standard, meaning that California alone is needlessly wasting 106 million gallons of water daily. The Drop-A-Brick device is a simple, low-tech solution to a serious problem.

“Communities in Europe and Australia are provided similar water-saving devices by their local governments because it’s such a no-brainer – we waste more drinking water by flushing toilets than we do showering,” says Drop-A-Brick co-founder Gregory Hadden. “We believe that California residents also deserve a simple and inexpensive way to conserve water that doesn’t force people to replace their toilets – a major expense for many. Our partnership with Rising Sun makes it possible for Bay Area residents to start saving gallons of water every day, while saving money on their water bills.”

The relationship between the two organizations will extend beyond simple distribution of the Drop-A-Brick. Rising Sun’s adult training and employment program, Green Energy Training Services (GETS), which provides intensive job skills training to low-income adults with barriers to employment, is exploring opportunities to deepen the partnership by offering job training focused on the green production of rubbers and plastics, and connecting graduates with potential employment opportunities with an industry leading green manufacturing company, Level 2 Productions.

“As the water crisis in California continues to grow, we are looking to deepen our impact at both individual household and city-wide levels. Drop-A-Brick represents a fantastic opportunity for water savings through simple education and the installation of a water saving device,” says Jodi Pincus, Rising Sun’s Executive Director. “We believe that by partnering with Project: Drop-A-Brick, Rising Sun will be able to further its mission to empower individuals to achieve environmental and economic sustainability for themselves and their communities.”

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About Rising Sun Energy Center

Rising Sun Energy Center is a 501c3 non-profit organization headquartered in Berkeley, California, operating throughout California, in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Joaquin, Solano, and Sonoma counties. Rising Sun is a workforce development organization focusing on training, employment, and green career pathways for both youth and adults. Rising Sun Energy Center’s mission is to empower individuals to achieve environmental and economic sustainability for themselves and their communities. For information regarding Rising Sun Energy Center, please visit our website at

About Project Drop-A-Brick

The Drop-A-Brick movement is the brainchild of a multi-agency collaboration between Tube Media International, Level2 Industries, barrettSF, and Pre-Future, four shops representing San Francisco’s advertising, manufacturing, and production industries. The movement is being self-funded through an Indiegogo program, with the goal of saving millions of gallons of water and to help those worst hit by the drought. Through Indiegogo, the bricks are being sold at cost and sponsors can donate bricks to communities devastated by the drought. []. So far, press has called it “the cleverest crowdfunding campaign in history.”

Water Is Life – 2015 Urban Art Competition

Please join Rising Sun Energy Center for our “Water is Life: 2015 Urban Art Competition” on March 12th, showcasing art pieces by local talent focused on the issue of water conservation in an urban environment.

The event will offer guests the opportunity to vote for their favorite art piece and learn about water conservation while enjoying music, hors d’oeuvres, and beverages in Rising Sun’s head quarters.Urban Art pcard FRONT outlines

To submit your art, please click here.  You can find more details about the event here

Attendance is free, but your RSVP is required as we have limited capacity. Simply RSVP on our Eventbrite page


You can also connect to us on our Facebook event and signify your interest.

See you there

Rising Sun Energy Center Announced as Energy Upgrade California® Grant Award Winner

Rising Sun is happy to announce that we have been named one of a select number of community-based organizations across the state to become an Energy Upgrade California Ambassador. We have been awarded a grant to develop and implement energy management outreach, awareness, and educational programs for our local community with an emphasis on reaching diverse and under-served populations. We will be partnering with Community Energy Services Corporation to implement this project.

This is part of Energy Upgrade California’s efforts to work with grassroots organizations and educate Californians about the simple steps they can take to better manage energy, save money, and make their homes more sustainable.

Graduates of Rising Sun’s adult Sales & Marketing training class will be representing Energy Upgrade California as Ambassadors at community events and meetings of community groups around the East Bay, educating the public on the benefits of conserving energy. Visitors at these events will receive helpful energy-saving tips and learn about additional information available on Energy Upgrade California’s website. Rising Sun will also be sharing tips and information through our website Facebook, and Twitter pages throughout the year.

We are really excited about this new partnership, as it will give us the opportunity to do something we love, educating people on energy and sustainability, while also allowing us to continue providing training and meaningful work opportunities to participants in our programs.

This is an excellent way to start 2015 and we are glad for the opportunity to share the thrill of this partnership with you!

Youth Impact HUB launch

Rising Sun staff recently joined in the celebrations for the launch of Youth Impact HUB, which provides a space for youth in Oakland who are working on innovative approaches to addressing social and environmental issues in their communities. Youth Impact HUB recognizes that young people are full of talent and insight, yet many are in need of resources and community support to actualize their visions.

“It’s not about helping young people; it’s about our future, because our future depends on the youth,” said a HUB staffer.

Van Jones, a pioneer in the green urban economy, helped organize the launch and also noted the importance of youth having community backing for their endeavors. He noted that projects like Impact HUB support brilliant young people who may not have easy access to educational or financial resources.  Van noted that youth aren’t looking for charity – “all they want is a shot.”

United Roots and Youth SEED were instrumental in the launch of Youth Impact HUB. United Roots provides training and space for youth to work on media and tech projects as well as wellness services and sustainability training programs; Youth SEED provides inter-generational support to youth who are interested in pursuing their own social enterprises. Through Youth Impact HUB programs, young people will have the opportunity to live up to their full potential, as well as to create jobs not only for themselves, but also for the community.

Rising Sun’s International Fellows

Earlier this year, Nicholas Piffeteau, Toni Ayonrinde, and Lau Prieto joined the Rising Sun team as paid fellows through Collabriv, a social venture based in San Francisco that helps young professionals worldwide gain global collaboration and leadership skills.

Nico is currently studying for a Master’s degree in Management in France. Passionate about social entrepreneurship, he has worked in Germany, Ireland, China and Ecuador. Always looking for new adventures, Nicolas enjoys hiking, backpacking and exploring, and used to practice inline speed skating at a national level (Junior French national champion). While at Rising Sun, Nico is working on the expansion of the CYES program and on researching new revenue models.

Toni grew up in Nigeria but studied a Bachelor in Management Information Systems and graduated in Ghana. She interned at a nonprofit in Zimbabwe, which was centered on educating youth and children on global warming and sustainability in Africa. Toni is working on the website development and marketing while at Rising Sun.

Lau is a dual-national, British and Spanish, and was born and raised in London, United Kingdom. In 2013 she obtained a BA in Social Anthropology from SOAS – University of London and has since then gained work experience at a nonprofit in London as a Fundraising Coordinator and most recently in Bolivia as a Commercialization Coordinator. While at Rising Sun, Lau will be working on fund development, including corporate sponsorship, grants and awards.

trioTogether they have been assisting with social media and the build-up towards Rising Sun’s incredible Bright Night fundraising event taking place in May 2015.

Being in Rising Sun has expanded my mind in various ways. It has given me the chance to understand energy efficiency in a new, unique and sustainable way. Working here, has also brought me in contact with an amazing set of people who I learn from every day”. – Toni

I was really impressed by the two energy specialists I met whilst watching a Green House Call in Stockton. They were determined, highly professional and able to clearly explain to us what they were doing”. – Nico

 “One of my highlights during the last three months has been attending the GETS graduation as well as the Green Festival. Seeing the GETS participants on this special day was truly inspiring”. – Lau

Toni, Nico and Lau will be working with Rising Sun from September 2014 until March 2015.