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Merry, Bright and Green !

Merry, Bright and Green

This morning began like so many others. A quick shower, a peek at the morning newscast, a couple of sips of coffee, smooches all around and I was off to work. I was zipping along the road, ready for a new day when kablaam! That’s when I saw it. A home with windows sprayed with faux-snow and strung up with glittery garlands. And, as a finishing touch, there was still a Halloween pumpkin on the front porch. What?! The “holiday season” seems to get longer and more out of control every year doesn’t it? Now, don’t get me wrong, I love what the holidays represent: the spirit of giving, the gathering ‘round of our loved ones, the sharing with our community. The mere thought of it brings a smile to my face and joy to my heart! But…then there’s that other side of the holidays. You know, the tense, high-pressure, stressful, unending cycle of spend, wrap, unwrap, throw away, repeat, consume, waste, and all with not a second to think or breathe—sound familiar? That’s the side of the holidays I’d like to do without, thank you very much. It feels like it is much harder to try to be green at the holidays than at any other time of the year. So, what’s to do then? How do we make our holidays merry and bright and yet still stay true to our green values? Here are some tips that will help you do just that.

First up is the easy stuff. Of course, we all know we can recycle! Get a good recycling plan in place for every holiday gathering and make sure everyone knows what goes where. These days, thank goodness, recycling is nearly second nature to most people, so your guests will know what to do once you’ve shown them your set up. And don’t forget to compost!

Next is to try to minimize the amount of disposable stuff that you’ll be using. Just say no to throwaway utensils & tableware whenever you can. If you must though—and who among us hasn’t had to at one time or another—try to choose those made of recycled or sustainable materials. Many stores carry products that are made from bamboo, recycled plastics, or compostable/biodegradable materials. These products are durable and good-looking, perfect for your holiday party guests to pile their yummies on.

Which brings me to the next tip: get those edible goodies local! Whenever you can try to purchase the food you’ll be serving for your holiday celebrations from local sources. Buying food that is grown or raised near you greatly reduces the carbon emissions that are produced by the planes, trains and trucks that would otherwise transport those items to you , sometimes over many thousands of miles. Take advantage of the bounty on offer at your local farmers markets, often an excellent source for sustainably raised meats as well as fruits and vegetables. Another added benefit of buying local is that you’re investing your money right back into our communities!

Thinking about decorating the outside of your home with a creative lights display this year? You can and still be eco-conscious with solar LED lights! Using solar lights for your decorations is a fun, easy and green way to get into the holiday spirit. The lights require no power source—just position the panel in a spot that gets at least three hours of sun per day—so there are no dangerous and unsightly wires dangling about and no distressing spike in your monthly electricity bill. LED lights last thousands of hours longer than traditional bulbs so you’ll be able to get years of use from them.

Perhaps you want to rethink gift wrapping all together this year. There are a few ways you might do this. If you want to go a more traditional route and get the “wow effect” of a pile of wrapped gifts, many companies make wrapping papers for all occasions out of recycled and sustainable materials now and they are becoming more widely available. Or you could get more creative and make a theme out of it. Giving a cookbook to your sister? You could wrap it in a lovely teatowel and tie it all up with a reusable cloth ribbon. I love to use pretty towels for gift wrapping—its like getting two gifts instead of one!

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Customer Reviews

“My entire experience with MB Jesse was very professional. The crew were very friendly and super accommodating of my ridiculous schedule and geriatric pets in the house. The finished product, which was pretty much my entire house, far exceeds my expectations. Would definitely work with them again!”

— Heather Jordan

“I want to express my thanks for a job well done. The rooms look great and there is no problem with any marks on the all the trim, floor, carpet, etc. The paint job is lovely. I also want to express my thanks for the level of professionalism the foreman showed in running the job. He was very attentive to any changes I needed to make, was extremely careful in getting the faux paint color and effect correct. Thanks so much for a job well done.”

— Suzan D’Arcy

“Just had MB Jessee paint the interior of our house and they did a wonderful job. They tackled some crazy wallpaper as well as painted some very high ceilings and walls. The whole process was quick and they did a great job! We are very pleased. I was also very impressed by the crew. They were very personable, kind and actually took pride in the work they were doing. In one of our conversations with the lead Ricardo, he actually told me he was very proud of how the rooms had turned out. I agree sir! It turned out great and it's not often you hear someone thinking of your home like they would theirs, and putting that level of work and quality into it. That made a huge difference in how I viewed this company. Ricardo, you were fantastic and thank you for the great job, we will be using you again.”

— Jeff M.
Danville, CA

“The kitchen looks NEW! You guys are amazing.”

“The completed 'Client Satisfaction Survey' we sent in only modestly reflects our total satisfaction with the work. As a retired small business owner, I compliment you on setting 'best practices' that are consistently followed. Everything described in your marketing materials was a reality! The crew is a super bowl team and our neighbors commented on how quiet they were. We are very happy to be a client of MB Jessee.”

— Richard
Orinda

“Matt, We are very happy with how all of the painting worked out. We were extremely impressed with the quality of the work in the bathroom. I liked working with Victor, he and Marvin were extremely conscientious about doing a great job, not just the minimum. I know the front door took a lot longer than you'd expected. But they did it PERFECTLY. We never thought it could turn out like that! Thanks again for the great work. We'll be calling you again in the future!”

— Craig
Alameda, CA

“In September, MBJessee finished painting two sides of our 3-story condominium building (six owners). We were impressed by the professionalism of the company and every one of its workers, Matt Jessee couldn't have been more helpful in planning the project. His painters were well-trained, easy to communicate with and eager to please. In addition to painting the stucco, they made extensive repairs on windows and frames, which will save us considerable money in the future. They finished earlier than anticipated, with as many as five men working on the job, and the scaffolding came down the next day. All of us were delighted with the results. Now my husband and I are looking forward to having MB Jessee paint our own apartment later this month. Matt and Gustavo (who will be our crew leader again) have explained how they will work to make the painting proceed smoothly while we're living here, and they have been endlessly patient with our protracted decision-making process. If you look at their website, you'll learn that MB Jessee is an exemplary company that takes good care of its workers as well as its customers, and contributes public service projects to the community. All in all, we can't recommend MB Jessee highly enough.”

— Jayne W.
San Francisco, CA

“Dear Matt,You must be so proud of your men! They were fantastic to have around. Polite, courteous and hardworking. I am so pleased with the outcome of our home--in fact, I couldn't be any more pleased than I am!”

— Mrs. S
San Leandro

“I love the article in the paper on your company. Thank you for supporting our community by painting at the Claremont Middle School. Thanks!”

— Carla Banks

“It was a great experience working with MB Jessee. The crew was careful and thorough as they painted the house, sealed stucco cracks, repaired dry-rotted wood, stained the deck, etc. Robert, Gersson, Jose, and all of the people involved in the process from the estimate to the job completion were friendly and professional.”

— Mike C.
Livermore, CA

“I had my wooden kitchen cabinets painted white. Anabal and Danielle were doing the job. I have nothing but praise for them. They came on time, cleaned up every day, were respective, friendly and helpful. If the rest of Jessee's crew are as great as Anabal and Danielle, this company will go far.”

— Anni S.
Oakland, CA

“High quality work from a pleasant and qualified staff. Thank you!”

— Paul Markovich