Taking the Green Path Home Isn’t That Difficult

Farm-to-table helps build strong communities.

Deciding to take a green path is a very personal thing. My mom in the 1950’s threw out all the hair spray cans because she said it was destroying the ozone layer! No one even knew what the ozone layer was! I remember we looked it up in my encyclopedia, no Google, and found it to be fascinating but this was way before global warming was on the horizon.

The decision to make an environmental responsible purchase is not always easy. Over the past few years, flooring manufacturers have been early to catch on to the concept of green. Years ago, green products were responsible but may have been design challenged and difficult to find.

There are simple things you can do to improve your life and help save the planet.

Plant a tree. As simple as this sounds, trees produce oxygen, which cleans the air. Trees reduce soil erosion, and conserves water. Earth Day is a wonderful time to give a tiny seedling to a friend to plant. I attended a flooring seminar where everyone was given a seedling to plant. Each person received a seedling indigenous to their area of the country. That was impressive.

When you leave the house, turn the lights and television off. It’s also wise to turn off your printer, computer and cell phone charger if you’re not using them. Electronics often continues to draw electricity when they’re plugged in. One day, my father asked if I worked for the electric company. When I asked what he meant he said I must work for them since I never turned the lights off.To this day, I laugh every time I turn off a light switch. This is an easily learned lesson in conservation. An average of 8% of the total energy consumed by the household goes into plugged in devices.

Know where your food is being grown. My grandfather was a farmer; in his day, being a farmer and growing your own food meant you were poor. Today it means you’re smart. Farm-to-table is the buzz word.

Clean your house with chemical-free cleaners. Everyone I know is cleaning with white vinegar and adding baking soda to their laundry.

Bring your own bags to the grocery stores. New York state is banning all  single-use plastic bags. The counties can also charge a 5 cent fee on paper bags. There are definitely too many plastic bags floating around the rivers and oceans.

Recycle your electronics and your clothes. I love when I bring my printer cartridges to Staples and get credit for them. It’s like taking recyclable bottles back to the grocery store. Everyone I know is shopping at thrift stores; it’s in to be conservative even with your clothes. Don’t you hate throwing out a perfectly good piece of clothing that you don’t want to wear or doesn’t fit?

The last one in my wheel house is changing your light bulbs.Wow, light bulbs have come a long way. I went to replace a 60-Watt bulb, yes, I still have some of them, and I had to take a course in light bulbs. There are so many choices, and we’re used to identifying them by their wattage not the brightness of the bulb. Wattage is the measure of electricity, but now we’re talking about how much light a bulb generates. This is called lumens. CFL’s or compact fluorescent lights have come a long way. They use about 75% less energy than the incandescent, (the ones we measure by watts) and have an estimated life of nine years. The LED bulbs use 80% less energy and last about 20 years.

I’m sure as the prices continue to come down, we will all be using the LED bulbs. I’m just happy to find one that fits!

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Should a REALTOR® Understand Flooring Basics?

Flooring is expensive, and if it has to be replaced who can your customer go to? If they ask you what do, what will you tell them? How will you know the latest products and what’s the best for your potential buyer’s situation? Knowing more about flooring can be the difference between making and losing a sale. Would it help your client by sharing your flooring knowledge? The realtors that attended our last flooring training said they were sure it would!

Greater Capital Association of Realtors is excited to offer a 2nd Flooring Certification course on November 7 and 8, at the Hyatt Place in Malta, New York.  Exit 12 off the Adirondack Northway. Lisbeth Calandrino, Industry Flooring Expert, from Fabulous Floors Magazine will be our featured speaker.  Our last class had rave reviews; we ran out of seating and had to turn people away. Don’t let this happen to you!

 This day and an half course is sponsored exclusively by Mohawk Industries, Inc.  Richard Owen, Sr. Director or Market Development and Training, Residential Flooring at Mohawk Industries will be joining the class as a guest speaker. Mohawk is the world’s largest flooring company, delivering style and performance for residential and commercial spaces around the globe.

“As your customers’ needs have changed, so has Mohawk, offering the finest in on trend and fashionable collections of flooring products to meet all the demands of today’s home buyers. From luxuriously soft carpeting to the best in wood visuals across all hard surface collection, you can truly FLOOR THE IMAGINATION with Mohawk!” – Richard Owen


INVITE YOUR CUSTOMERS AND BUILDERS! Do you want a client to attend, what about one of your customer builders, architect or interior designer?  Non-members are welcomed at all GCAR classes and this useful and interesting flooring course will benefit you and your connections.

Today’s home buyer expects more, and that includes their expectations of their REALTOR®.  You don’t want to lose a sale because they thought the flooring was a problem and you didn’t know what to do! Learn about the latest styles, color trends, which products are the best for your customers.  You will find this exciting and a major tool for your realtor kit.

Listen to what REALTORS® said in the April course:

  • “Who knew there was so much to learn about flooring?! It was great information and Lisbeth was a dynamic instructor!” – Tracey LaFleur, Howard Hanna
  • “Liz is an encyclopedia of information, I recommend this course to any REALTOR looking to enhance their knowledge or flooring materials, it’s a fun and worthwhile class!” –Susan Sommers, Better Homes & Garden Tech Valley
  • “The information presented has changed my views on many types of flooring and the knowledge will allow me to better serve my clients.” –David Fyfe, Bird Realty
  • “Lisbeth has an engaging personality and a wealth of knowledge related to flooring. Her course, Fabulous Floors Certified, was valuable and informative professionally and personally!” – Melanie Jakway, CM Fox Real Estate
  • Fabulous Floors was a great course~ I will be able to make better decision on choosing floor coverings for my rehab projects!” – Lorraine Gage, United Business Services

Register now at GCAR.com:  $75 for members, $100 for non-members. Benefits to attending the course:

  • Receive 9 CE credits for the course
  • Receive an extra 7 hours of CE with a requirements course day that covers: Fair Housing, Ethics and 1 hour of Agency that expires at the end of 2020
  • Be listed in the International Magazine: Fabulous Floors with your contact information to reach new clients
  • Submit your REALTOR® stories to Fabulous Floors Magazine and have your own byline
  • Discounts on products from local Retailers

Register early so you don’t get left out. We have moved from GCAR offices because of limited seating—after 38 we had to turn people away. Again our seating is limited to the first 60! Register now by clicking here.

STAY AFTER CLASS FOR FUN AND NETWORKING! Join us after class, November 7th for a meet and greet with local flooring retailers, consumers and builders.

For more information on the class, call Lisbeth Calandrino @518-495-5380, or write, Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.