The past year has been one of teaching and listening for Heather Curless.
Curless, the founder and owner of Greener Stock, has spent the past year talking about her business, and introducing people to the need to use natural, non-toxic and more environmentally friendly products when they design or fix up their houses. Along the way, she's found that a growing number of people are interested in and willing to use products from wall finishes to flooring to high-efficiency lighting that is less expensive and more earth-friendly than traditional building materials.
She's doing so not only to promote her year-old business, but to convince people that using sustainable materials is better for the environment and their pocketbooks.
"There's still a lot of education to be done when it comes to green products - what they are and why people should support them," said Curless, who is certified by the LEED environmental ratings system.
She has spoken to groups at the local environmental protection agency, the Cincinnati Zoo, the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors, the Cincinnati Preservation Association, as well as various school and scout groups. Her company also hosts green building seminars for both building professionals and consumers.
Her business started small - selling products online and at Greener Stock's showroom on Columbia Parkway. But with consumer confidence about the economy growing, and more people remodeling or fixing up their homes, business seems to be on the upswing, she said.
"It's been going really well," she said. "More people have been hearing about us, and coming into the showroom and expressing an interest in our products. We've been increasing the number of workshops for both homeowner and those in the trade."
The company recently earned a "Best of the City 2010" award from Cincinnati Magazine, and The Cincinnati Enquirer named Curless as one "20 Professional Women to Watch."
In addition to selling various green and recycled building supplies, Greener Stock also provides an array of other services, including sustainable architectural design services, solar analysis, design and installation, and residential and commercial energy audits.
The shop also collects old batteries of all kinds for recycling, along with computer monitors, television sets, and other electronics. Many items it will recycle free if you bring them in. It recycles the electronic equipment in a partnership with Players for the Planet and Global Environmental Services, and any funds collected are donated to the former group. Since March 2010, Curless said, more than 15 tons of such electronic garbage have been diverted from landfills.
Writer: Paul A. Long
Source: Heather Curless, owner, Greener Stock