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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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“Our paint crew did a great job and the foreman, Gersson was exceptionally great to work with. He was always available to answer questions, good at problem-solving, very patient, kind, and highly professional with great customer service. We definitely recommend this company, and Gersson and his crew.”

— Andrea Y.
Berkeley, 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

“I loved working with M.B. Jessee from start to finish on a relatively small paint job that grew a bit. I felt in very good hands from the moment Matt Jessee came out to give me the estimate and talk about my job. He was very easy to talk to and he handled my changes very well. Then the actual work done by Rigoberto and Mario was impeccable. They were neat and meticulous and the paint job looks beautiful. I could not have asked for more and when I did, they accommodated me 100%. I will not hesitate to call M.B. Jessee again and to refer them to friends.”

— Nancy Kurkjian

“Julie, by the way, I have never been so impressed with the service of a painting job before! It was like magical elves came and painted our walls without us having to do a thing! It looks amazing and just wanted to let you know how happy we are. Thanks”

— Anja
Piedmont

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

“The entire MB Jessee team is courteous, efficient and professional. From scheduling and estimating to the crew managers and crew, they all did an excellent job on a small (but complicated) two room project in my house. I'm already thinking about getting them scheduled for the next project in the spring.”

— Cari Cheney

“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

“The finish on my kitchen cabinets had failed, becoming tacky and grimy around the handles. M B Jessee gave me a reasonable quote, far below some others, and did an outstanding job, striping the original varnish and refinishing with a new lacquer finish. The cabinets look like new. Work was done 1 day faster than estimated. The crew was extremely hard-working, considerate, and neat. Highly recommend M B Jessee.”

— Thama B.
San Francisco, CA

“Everyone I dealt with was nice, helpful, and very professional. The price was reasonable! (I didn't feel like I was getting the "San Francisco price." The attention to detail and work quality was excellent. They did what they said they would do in the exact timeframe they said they would do. Highly recommend!”

— Tim Tyson

“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

“Charles finished yesterday and did a fantastic job. We really enjoyed meeting Charles and having him in our home. He is a great guy in addition to his attention to detail in his work, the protection of our floors, walls and furnishings, and his overall interaction with us both. I would be pleased to recommend him to any of my clients.”

— Ken Morrison
Oakland

“We just wanted to let you know how pleased we are with the work of MB Jessee Painting and your employees. Everything turned out beautiful. Our foreman was great! He was punctual, professional, neat and very accommodating ... and went the extra mile. We will definitely recommend you to our friends and family.”

— Michelle & Rivers Gee