In This Issue
Diamond Certified Resources


Savvy Consumer Tips

Dear Savvy Consumer,

I’ve been going to the same dental office for more than 20 years and here’s just one reason why. A few months back, I had such a bad toothache, I went to the doctor begging for a root canal. After a careful examination, he assured me that I had a sinus problem, not a decayed tooth. And sure enough, the pain subsided when allergy season did. Another dentist might have been more than willing to perform the root canal. While some dentists are quick to pick up the drill, my dentist takes a less aggressive approach, which I appreciate.

Do you have a great dentist? If you’re not sure, listen to my podcast to see if your doctor measures up. Or give your dentist a check-up using the checklist we have created. Our information is based on interviews with consumers and Diamond Certified dentists.

Some of things I look for in dentists are:

  1. Staff members – Are they responsive and courteous?
  2. Scheduling – Do they offer convenient appointment times and accommodate you when you’re in pain?
  3. Atmosphere – Is the office clean and up-to-date?  
  4. Pain & anxiety management – How does the dentist manage your symptoms?
  5. Dentistry – Does the staff educate you about proper flossing and brushing? Is the emphasis on tooth conservation, rather than drill, fill and bill?
  6. Communication – How much time does the dentist spend explaining options and procedures?

Before switching to a new practice, you might want to schedule a few “get-acquainted” visits with your short list of recommended dentists. That way you can find out whether you personalities and healthcare philosophies are a match.


Chris Bjorklund
The Savvy Consumer

Enjoy a (Nearly) Guilt-free Fire

The most eco-friendly way to use a fireplace is to turn it into a showcase for candles, flowers or other décor. If you’re not willing to give up cozy nights by the hearth, do the next best thing by making wood choices that reduce pollutants.

According to, manufactured logs — Java-Log and the new Duraflame, for example — are a greener alternative to real, cut firewood. That’s because the manufactured logs recycle waste, such as sawdust and coffee grounds, which saves trees. They also use plant-based waxes, which are a renewable source of carbon. And they burn cleaner than cut wood, emitting less particulate matter, carbon monoxide and other pollutants.

If you do burn real wood in your fireplace, make sure it’s dry. “Green,” or damp, logs will release more smoke and carbon. How do you know a log is dry? It’ll make a sharp, hollow sound when you tap it, compared to the dull thump of green wood.

Bad Tile Installation = Homeowner’s Nightmare

If you hire an incompetent contractor to tile your bathroom, you could end up with a big mess. Monica Beverly, owner of Santa Cruz Tile and Stone, a Diamond Certified company, says to re-do a job can cost thousands of dollars more because of all the water damage that may occur.

On a bad install, the shower pan may not be waterproofed, resulting in leaks through walls, floors and ceilings. Tiles might be crooked, not cut correctly, not flat, and not set with the right adhesive. If tiles are installed on an incorrect surface in a kitchen, tiles could start moving and the grout will fall out. To avoid making an expensive mistake, hire a licensed tile contractor with a known track record. Monica specifically recommends asking the bidding company for references from people who had work done a few years ago. A well-done tile job will stand the test of time.

Kudos from Diamond Certified Customers

Dear Chris,
I would like to tell you about the wonderful experience my husband, Tom, and I had with Southwest Greens. They were a dream to work with. They worked with us on price as well as matching the warranty we received from another company. Michell and Jose were both a professional and courteous and truly a dream to work with. We are very happy with our new synthetic lawn, as are our numerous dogs.

Thank you, once again.


Jane Marks

Companies Recently Earning
Diamond Certified®

Alameda County
Advantage Automotive, Dublin
Gorilla Gutters, Inc., Berkeley
Lowell A. King, Realtor, Fremont
Northern California Paper Recyclers, Inc., Hayward
V2K Window Decor & More, Berkeley

Contra Costa County
A & J Fencing, LLC, Concord
Dinwoodie Landscape Services, El Cerrito
Schrader & Son, Walnut Creek
Standards of Excellence Appliances and Decorative Plumbing - Concord, Concord

Marin County
AcuStruct, San Ramon

Monterey & San Benito Counties
Simply Clean Care with Miller's, Monterey

San Francisco
The LanceDan Group - Alain Pinel Realtors, San Francisco

San Mateo County
Atlas Plumbing and Rooter, San Francisco

Santa Clara County

AAA Car Care Plus, Santa Clara
Allied Auto Works, Los Altos
California Homes and Kitchen Design Center, Inc., San Jose

Santa Cruz County
Floors Etc., Soquel

Solano County
KDz Inc., Vacaville

MDS Construction, Windsor
Standards of Excellence Appliances and Decorative Plumbing - Rohnert Park, Rohnert Park

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