Merlino & Gonzalez May 2018

Are You Wasting Water, Time, and Money? VS. DISHWASHER It’s not just about water! Unless you have incredibly thick dishwashing gloves, you can’t properly clean your dishes by hand. Dishwashers heat water to around 145 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure your dishes are disinfected. Even if the water from your sink could get that hot, you wouldn’t want to stick your hand in it. Which brings us to the science experiment that is your kitchen sponge. Dr. Philip Tierno, a clinical professor in the microbiology and pathology departments at NYU Langone, determined that your kitchen sponge is the single dirtiest item in your house. Soap and water aren’t enough to sanitize your sponge, which is left damp next to your sink after each use. Have you ever noticed that stagnant sponge smell? That’s bacteria growing. And when you wash your dishes by hand, you rub that bacteria all over your plates and silverware. Yum. HAND-WASHING

We’ve all walked into our kitchens, looked at the dishes stacked high in the sink, and asked, “Is it better to throw those in the dishwasher or wash them by hand?” The dishwasher would certainly save you some time, but many people believe that washing dishes by hand uses less water and electricity. In reality, however, washing your dishes by hand is one of the worst things you can do for both the planet and your wallet. Dishwashers use less water than washing by hand. A study conducted in Europe found that individuals who wash dishes by hand tend to use 27 gallons of water to clean just 12 place settings. Meanwhile, modern dishwashers only use 6 gallons of water, and Energy Star appliances use as little as 4 gallons during their wash cycle. The Environmental Protection Agency determined that using a dishwasher instead of washing by hand can save 5,000 gallons of water and $40 in utility costs a year.

If you have just a single plate or cup, you obviously don’t want to run them through the dishwasher alone; that would be incredibly wasteful. But the drawbacks of washing by hand are too great to ignore. The best option is to wait until your

dishwasher is full, then start up the washing cycle. All your dishes will be clean and disinfected, and you’ll use less water in the process.


Merlino & Gonzalez, as well as our affiliated title company, MGM Gotham Abstract, LLC, recently completed our American

2. Adopt and maintain appropriate written procedures and controls for Escrow Trust Accounts allowing for electronic verification of reconciliation. 3. Adopt and maintain a written privacy and information security program plan to protect Non-public Personal Information as required by local, state, and federal law. 4. Adopt standard real estate settlement procedures and policies that help ensure compliance with Federal and State Consumer Financial Laws as applicable to the Settlement process. 5. Adopt and maintain written procedures related to title policy production, delivery, reporting, and premium remittance. 6. Maintain appropriate professional liability insurance and fidelity coverage. 7. Adopt and maintain written procedures for resolving consumer complaints. After meeting all requirements of the rigorous review, we were awarded a Best Practices certification. It means a lot to be recognized by an authority like ALTA, but what matters more is being a practice that clients and lenders can put their faith in.

Land Title Association (ALTA) Best Practices review. After a thorough review of our real estate practices, we were awarded a certification from ALTA for meeting all seven components of their Best Practices Framework. It was a lot of work to prepare for our review, but we are honored to be acknowledged as receiving our ALTA Best Practices Review Certification. It may not be a household name, but an ALTA certification is a stamp of approval when it comes to real estate law. The organization defines a Best Practice as one that meets “a benchmark for the real estate settlement and mortgage lending industries.” This award is not handed out often to practices of our size, and it will give our clients and lenders peace of mind in knowing that we meet all the requirements that were reviewed. ALTA’s Best Practices Framework includes the following seven criteria: 1. Establish and maintain current License(s) as required to conduct the business of title insurance and settlement services.


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