Frequently Asked Questions
- What does moving to green mean?
- What is a carbon footprint?
- What is title insurance, and why do I need it?
- What is an electronic mortgage?
- What is an electronic closing?
- What is SureClose®?
- How can I better understand the terminology used in the home buying and selling processes?
- What is global warming?
- What effects do waste prevention and recycling have on global warming?
- How do I know what materials are recyclable in my community, and where can I take these materials to be recycled?
- What happens to my recyclables after I put them out at the curbside?
You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers. Maybe not all the answers, but a lot of them. Got a question you don’t see an answer to? Click here, and we’ll see if we can’t find the information for you.
What does moving to green mean? (Back to top)
Recently, being green has turned into a marketing tool. Many companies announce themselves as green without changing any of their behavior. At Stewart, we are serious about our desire to make our company more environmentally friendly. And we want to encourage the rest of our industry to make changes in an effort to reduce the impact of the real estate industry on the environment. In order to do so, we decided to share our journey from being a title company using the same standard practices of the last century to being an eco-friendly company using environmentally sound practices in our every day business. We hope that by sharing our journey we will inspire others to do the same. Thus, our marketing materials don’t discuss our company as green, but rather as moving to green.
What is a carbon footprint? (Back to top)
How much CO2 your lifestyle creates is called your "carbon footprint". Home energy use, cars and airplanes are how most of us produce carbon.
What is title insurance, and why do I need it? (Back to top)
Title insurance is an insurance policy that protects you against loss that could result from defects in the title of the property you are buying. The premium is paid only once and is good until the property’s ownership changes. Unlike most types of insurance which protect policyholders from future events, title insurance protects you against defects that could already exist.
What is an electronic mortgage? (Back to top)
An electronic mortgage, or eMortgage, is a mortgage where the critical loan documentation is created, executed, transferred and stored electronically.
Each party is granted viewing and accessing permissions as defined by the lender. This means borrowers can view their closing documents and ask questions prior to their closing date reducing the number of delayed closings.
What is an electronic closing? (Back to top)
An electronic closing, also known as an eClosing, uses electronic signings to seal the deal. They are performed in a secure web-based environment using click to sign and holographic technologies.
What is SureClose®? (Back to top)
SureClose is an electronic document management system that allows all parties involved in a real estate transaction 24/7 online access to the documents that pertain to them. Buyers, sellers, real estate professionals, escrow officers, title agents and lenders alike are able to view step-by-step transaction information from any Windows®-based PC with Internet capability.
How can I better understand the terminology used in the home buying and selling processes?
Visit the Stewart Glossary to learn the terminology you’ll need to know before buying or selling a home.
What is global warming? (Back to top)
Carbon dioxide and other gases warm the surface of the planet naturally by trapping solar heat in the atmosphere. This is a good thing because it keeps our planet habitable. However, by burning fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil, and by clearing forests mankind has dramatically increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere, and temperatures are rising.
The vast majority of scientists agree that global warming is real, it’s already happening and that it is a result of humanity’s activities and not a natural occurrence.1
What effects do waste prevention and recycling have on global warming? (Back to top)
Everyone knows that reducing waste is good for the environment because it conserves natural resources. What many people don't know is that solid waste reduction and recycling also have an impact on global climate change. The manufacture, distribution and use of products—as well as management of the resulting waste—all result in greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases, which trap heat in the upper atmosphere, occur naturally and help create climates that sustain life on our planet. Increased concentrations of these gases can contribute to rising global temperatures, sea level changes and other climate changes.
Waste prevention and recycling—jointly referred to as waste reduction—help us better manage the solid waste we generate. But reducing waste is a potent strategy for reducing greenhouse gases because it can:
Reduce emissions from energy consumption. Recycling saves energy. Manufacturing goods from recycled materials typically requires less energy than producing goods from virgin materials. When people reuse goods or when products are made with less material, less energy is needed to extract, transport, and process raw materials and to manufacture products. When energy demand decreases, fewer fossil fuels are burned and less carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere.
Reduce emissions from incinerators. Recycling and waste prevention divert materials from incinerators and thus reduce greenhouse gas emissions from waste combustion.
Reduce methane emissions from landfills. Waste prevention and recycling (including composting) divert organic wastes from landfills, reducing the methane that would be released if these materials decomposed in a landfill.
Increase storage of carbon in forests. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in wood in a process called "carbon sequestration". Waste prevention and recycling paper products allows more trees to remain standing in the forest, where they can continue to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
For more information about the relationship between solid waste and climate change, go to EPA's Climate Change – Waste page
How do I know what materials are recyclable in my community, and where can I take these materials to be recycled? (Back to top)
Most communities employ recycling coordinators—government officials who have information on local recycling resources—who can answer specific questions about recycling and waste management in your city or town. Look in your phone book under "Recycling Coordinators," or contact the relevant city or county government office (often called Department of Sanitation or Department of Public Works). Your state Department of Environmental Protection or Department of Natural Resources also may have helpful resources. EPA's website has links to these state offices.
Earth911 is another helpful resource that allows you to type in your zip code or find your state on a map to locate recycling centers in your community for all types of recyclables. You also can visit the National Recycling Coalition for a list of state recycling organizations.
Your local recycling program should be able to provide you with a list of materials that can be collected for recycling in your community. Following is a short list of the most common materials that are recycled in many communities:
Paper: Newspaper is almost always recovered in community recycling programs. Some communities also collect white and colored paper (sometimes combined as "mixed paper") and used cardboard boxes, such as cereal boxes.
Plastics: Not all communities recycle all types of plastic. Investigate your community's plastic collection through the resources listed above. Most communities recycle plastic items such as detergent bottles, beverage containers (e.g., soda, milk and juice), and containers for various household products, from shampoo, lotion and mouthwash containers to plastic peanut butter containers. Also, many grocery stores collect used plastic grocery bags on-site for recycling.
Aluminum: Almost all recycling programs include aluminum beverage cans. One of the most highly recycled products, aluminum cans are made into new cans in as little as 90 days after they are collected. Some communities also collect aluminum foil for recycling.
Steel: Many steel products manufactured in the United States contain a high percentage of recycled steel. Some are even made from 100 percent recycled steel. Many communities collect soup cans and other steel food packaging containers, as well as steel aerosol cans, for recycling.
Glass: Glass food containers, such as jars and bottles for pickles, juice, jam or wine, are usually recyclable in many communities.
Yard Trimmings/Food Scraps: Many communities have regular or seasonal programs in place to collect yard trimmings, such as leaves, branches and grass clippings, from residents. Other communities encourage residents to practice backyard composting for yard trimmings and food scraps.
What happens to my recyclables after I put them out at the curbside? (Back to top)
After you put your recyclables out on the curb, they begin a circular journey during which they are processed and manufactured into new recycled-content products, which are sold in stores to consumers, who can then repeat the process. Below is a brief summary of the three phases of the recycling loop.
Step 1. Collection and Processing
After recyclables are collected at the curb or from a drop-off center, haulers take them to a materials recovery facility, where they are sorted and baled.
Step 2. Manufacturing
Once they are cleaned, separated and baled, recyclables are remanufactured into new products. Many consumer products, such as newspapers, aluminum and steel cans, plastic containers and other plastic products, and glass bottles, are now manufactured with total or partially recycled content.
Step 3. Purchasing Recycled Products
Purchasing recycled products completes the recycling loop. By "buying recycled," governments, businesses and individual consumers each play an important role in making the recycling process a success. Learn more about recycling terminology and find tips on identifying recycled products.
1 According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this era of global warming “is unlikely to be entirely natural in origin” and “the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence of the global climate.”