Professional. Dependable.

At PaintGreen, we strive to provide a positive painting experience for all our San Diego clients.  We paint in a
professional manner, are courteous of our client's needs, and are committed to painting in an Environment of Integrity.  The paint and materials we use are of premium quality, each painter pays close attention to detail, and all our clients agree that we are a hard-working and motivated group of painters.

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Nostalgic Waste?

Remember back when you were young, when you wanted to order a pizza, or call that kid in your class. Alas, you didn’t have the number. What did you do? You turned to the phone book, of course! That gloriously thick mass of paper, full of every person’s number in the county. Last name first, first name last. 20 people listed with the same name? No problem. Call each one until you get who you wanted. Those were the days of yore, when phones still had cords, cars had manual door locks, and you got to play outside until the streetlights came on.

As we all know, those days are gone. So why are you still getting a gloriously thick mass of pages delivered to your doorstep four times a year? If you do papier-mâché sculptures, it’s a great way to recycle. If your kid uses it as a booster seat, I praise your creativity. If not, OPT OUT! yellowpagesoptout.com

Captain Obvious here, but in this day and age, mobility is key. Carrying around a three-pound book that you have to search through alphabetically just isn’t as convenient as a five-ounce smart phone that fits in your pocket, now is it?
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Wind vs Coal

In the struggle to go green and create a renewable, sustainable energy resource, there have always been a couple of problems: 1) Green energy is expensive. 2) Green energy is expensive. 3) Green energy is complicated. But fear not! The future is near! Wind energy is finally creeping up on the big, bad coal monster and becoming a more economical option for electrifying the country.

The cost of wind turbines is falling, making it a more feasible renewable resource. But the question still remains: where do you put all those turbines? Furthermore, how do we get all that energy from sometimes crazy-remote locations, to the cities that actually need them? And were do you put all those power lines? These are questions that will be debated for years to come. Take, for instance, the Sunrise Powerlink, a controversial, expensive power transmission line being built by Sempra Energy, which will run through the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and Cleveland National Forest to power Southern California homes. No one is really against green energy, but many are against giant power lines that need to transfer all that energy before it can be used. One day, it will all work out.

So don’t give up on wind power yet. Soon wind will revolutionize the fuel industry, just as internal combustion engines once revolutionized the transportation industry.
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What are you eating?

In light of the recent Taco Bell scandal and their “beef” burritos, we should each be asking ourselves, “What in the world are we eating?” Labels on food are put there for a reason: to explain the contents and ingredients of any given product. But what if the food labels are vague, like “All Natural” or “Organic?” What do those labels even mean?

The labels on food that certify a product as “100% Organic” must include only ingredients that are completely organic, including water and salt. Those that are labeled “Organic” must have at least 95% of the ingredients meeting organic standards. Items that are 70% organic can claim to be “Made with organic ingredients.” So what does “Organic” mean? We know it’s healthier to humans and less damaging to the earth, but why pay an extra $2 for organic chicken eggs?

To be deemed “Organic” by the USDA, products must meet the following criteria:
- Any item must be produced using sustainable practices
- Any animal products must be free of hormones and antibiotics
- Any food must be free of pesticides, sewage, radiation or genetic tampering
So what if you’re buying food stuff that is labeled “Natural,” “Hormone-Free” or “Free-Range”? It might be a lot better than buying something unnatural, full of hormones, and caged, but it’s not considered organic.

Not willing to take the plunge and start paying extra for peace of mind and peace of belly? Take a look at the Dirty Dozen list: 12 items you should always buy organic (http://bit.ly/hWmSLW) and the Clean 15: non-organic food items you can buy safely (http://bit.ly/CxOmo). In general, anything that has a thick skin which you don’t eat, save yourself some money and buy conventional. Any fruit that you don’t peel, or ground vegetables (potatoes, carrots, celery), buy organic to avoid high concentrations of pesticides.

Try to buy locally and go to your farmer’s market to make great food choices that help the local farmers and economy.
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Is your paint harming you?

People have been painting for thousands of years. Cave men and women used natural ingredients to make lasting marks on the world. Of course, modern man had to screw that all up by adding lead and chemicals into paint to help it last through a nuclear winter. So, jump to modern times: we've taken out the lead, because we knew it was bad, and added in less deformity-inducing substances called volatile organic compounds!

What are volatile organic compounds (VOCs), you ask? VOCs are chemicals in household products, including cleaning supplies, pesticides and paint, that become airborne and can cause serious health issues. The EPA found that these organic pollutants were two to five times higher indoors than outdoors.

Some common health issues associated with VOCs include irritation of the respiratory tract, eyes, nose, and throat, and depending on level of toxicity and exposure, can result in liver damage or visual disorders.

So, you've got VOCs in the home. How can you reduce exposure and keep your eyes, nose, and throat happy and healthy?

– Make sure to use cleaning solutions and high-VOC compounds in limited quantities. When you do use them, OPEN THE WINDOWS! I know it seems like a simple solution, but do it. The more air you get, the less you will be inhaling the nasty stuff.

– Use paint that's low in VOCs, and keep windows open after painting. Regular paint is high in benzene, a known cancer-causing agent, so try to use low-VOC or no-VOC paints.

– Make sure to dispose of any unwanted chemical compounds properly. Don't keep them under your sink, improperly sealed, or under the bed. Get rid of that stuff if you're done with it.

By getting rid of volatile organic compounds, you make your home a haven for happy, healthy humans. It's better for the environment, too!

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Diaper Service

There are lots of babies out there, and 4 million new ones each year in the United States alone. What do babies do best? Eat, sleep, and the most disgusting and smelly of this trifecta: poop.

Where does all that poop go? In diapers, of course, unless you have some magically trained baby that can use a toilet straight out of the womb. But all those disposable diapers make a lot of disposable waste in our landfills.

So what's the alternative? Let your kid go commando and hope he learns to use the toilet in four days? That seems a bit messy. Want something more logical (and that won't get lots of baby turds on your carpet)? Cloth diapers are a great alternative.

Cloth diapers were all the rage back in the day, before plastic was invented. They come with one major problem: the average newborn poops four to eight times a day. That's over 30 diapers a week. That's a lot of diapers to wash and a lot of poop to clean up. So what's a parent to do? San Diego has some great cloth diaper services that will pick up your poopy diapers and bring you fresh clean ones.

While disposable diapers will inevitably be cheaper than a diaper service, using cloth diapers is cheaper and obviously better for the environment. Use cloth diapers for as long as you can handle them, then get some help with cleaning them!

http://bit.ly/ibfvWI

allaboutclothdiapers.com

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Paint your roof white!

White. It's what you wear in the sun to keep cool. Party tents are white. Boats are white. Any kid in elementary school can tell you why: white is a reflective color; light and energy (heat) bounces off of it easily.

Now, through the amazing act of SCIENCE, the Center for Atmospheric Research has concluded from a recent study that painting the roofs of houses and buildings white can drastically change climate (to .7 degrees). Pretty significant, eh? So how does it work? The asphalt that makes up city streets absorbs energy and tall buildings trap heat close to the surface. By painting roofs white, it helps reflect the sun's energy, so the city absorbs less.

How can this help you in everyday life? When retiling your roof, make sure to use light colored tiles. Not planning to do that anytime soon? Use the natural properties of color to help paint your home for your climate. You live in a desert? Use light, reflective colors to direct heat away from your home. Live in a place where it snows 80 percent of the year? Use rich, darker colors to absorb energy and heat, to make your home cozy.

Check out treehugger.com for more on the topic: http://bit.ly/92iELV

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Recycled Redeccorating

Recycling doesn't have to stop at glass, plastic, or cans. Take into consideration that things that can be reused get thrown away ALL the time. One person's trash is another's treasure, right? When renovating your home, you can use lots of recycled products to make your shabby house chic. Here are some ideas to turn your renovation quest into a recycling bonanza.

Antique stores, flea markets, and yard sales often have old cabinets, furniture, and recycled wood that you can reuse. Sand down, resurface, and stain cabinets to make them look like new. Cover an old armoire door with plastic and you've got yourself a ghetto-sled!

Recycled lumber can be used for a multitude of projects, including flooring, coffee tables, or wall accent pieces. Transform an old door into a headboard for your bed, or a new desk.

Plastic bottles can be recycled into an awesome light fixture. Heck, light fixtures can be recycled, rewired, and reused to give your place that vintage feel.

Use your imagination. Pretty much anything you find can be reused in some way or another. Go wild. Try turning old LPs into a fruit bowl or a room divider, use old shirts to make a quilt, or make a Devo hat out of a red bucket.

If you want to recycle and reuse materials, but aren't much of a thrift store hound, check out Habitat ReStore outlet (www.habitat.org/restores/default.aspx), which supplies reused and donated materials for renovations.

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Farm to Table Eating

Food is one of those things that can evoke a love–hate relationship. Depending on how and where food is grown and how it is prepared, it can make you sick, fat, or utterly euphoric. With the proposed enactment of the Food Safety Modernization Act, the FDA can regulate the quality of the food that goes into our bellies, but how much will that matter? Spinach can still give you e-coli, and beef, mad cow disease.

This is a good time to get into the groove with locally grown food that leaves a local farm and lands directly on your table, or the table of your local eatery. Foodies have been onto this idea for a long time, understanding the importance of locally grown food and the ways they are prepared. You can join your local Community Sponsored Agriculture association to get local food at home. Check out sandiegoroots.org for more info.

Now for those of you who don't have the time, patience, or skills to turn a nice basket of CSA food into a delicious meal, fear not! There's a plethora of restaurants that are popping up in San Diego that serve home-grown foods. North Park seems to be a great hub for restaurants serving local and sustainable foods. Try out The Linkery, Sea Rocket Bistro, Ritual Tavern, and El Take It Easy, and do some research to find some other great restaurants in your neighborhood. sandiegoroots.org/restaurants.html

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PaintGreen Cares

Community is a cornerstone of the PaintGreen mission, and charitable donations are important. Many companies claim to help the community, but rarely follow up on their pledge. PaintGreen has extended their pro bono work (not to be confused with pro Bono) to help the youth of San Diego by giving them vibrant living and learning spaces.

PaintGreen committed to painting all the classrooms in the current Xara Garden School facility, located in Allied Gardens. Xara Garden School is a charter school committed to giving children the freedom to learn language, arts, and nature in a student-driven environment. Once Xara Garden School selects its permanent location in two years, PaintGreen will offer their services again, to help make the learning environment as whimsical and entertaining as possible. For more about Xara Garden School visit www.xaraschools.org. In addition to painting the Xara Garden School, PaintGreen reinvigorated the Spring Valley Community Center, to improve the surroundings for the kids who attend.

One of the major organizations PaintGreen supports on a monthly basis is Cecily's Closet, a non-profit organization that helps families with special-needs children. Cecily's Closet provides donations to families in need, and PaintGreen is fundamental in providing room makeovers to help families and children enjoy their homes.

Other local organizations benefit from PaintGreen's generosity, including the Cucina Club, a local shipping-container turned full-service-kitchen, to help feed those who can't afford to feed themselves.

PaintGreen is committed to supporting the people of San Diego with their painting needs and will continue to do so well into the future.

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Tips for choosing a contractor

You hear horror stories about people hiring contractors and they either do a sub-par job, steal all of their belongings, or break things in the house and don't have liability insurance to cover the cost (thanks to the interwebs, there are myriad sites dedicated to these torrid tales). Don't get caught in the same situation. Here are some tips to help you get a quality contractor who does quality work.

DO ask for a contractor's license number and check it against the Contractor's State License Board website (www.cslb.ca.gov) to make sure they are a contractor in good standing without any complaints against them.

DON'T choose a contractor based on looks. Two words: Ted Bundy. Enough said.

DO check with the Better Business Bureau in your city (sandiego.bbb.org) to make sure the company you're looking at is in good standing with the city.

DON'T go with the cheapest contractor. Oftentimes they will bid low and skimp on materials or craftsmanship to meet that bid. If they can't, they will often line-item everything, including the toilet paper they bring to the job.

DO ask for references or check review sites like Yelp (www.yelp.com) or Angie's List (www.angieslist.com). Word of mouth is one of the best sellers. Most companies that do quality work don't need to advertise much, because they get most of their business through referrals.

DON'T change job specs halfway through the job. Make sure you have solid plans before you hire a contractor, and make sure to discuss any changes you want to make up front. Changing late in the game draws out the timeline and drives up cost.

DO get a quote and timelines to make sure they fall in line with the scope and budget of the project. Make sure to specify which types of materials you want on your project in the contract, so lesser materials can't be substituted in an attempt to lower the cost of the project.

DON'T be pressured into using a contractor. If they insist on an immediate yes or no for a quote, run for the hills. A quality contractor will honor a deal, even if it takes you a week to think things over. Hiring a contractor is like hiring a ghostwriter for your memoirs: make sure they can tell your story how you want it.

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The best way to paint in an environmentally friendly way is to
paint it right the first time.  Quality paint applied properly with thorough prep will last several times longer than paint applied poorly.  Even though they are not currently certifying painters we are committed to following the principles outlined by the San Diego County Green Business Program.  We use paints that have been Green Seal Certified containing little or zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs). 
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