Entrepreneur Spotlight: Solar Earth Lawn Care

Owner Gus Mariscal was inspired to start Solar Earth, Indiana's first eco-friendly lawn care company, when he found out about the harmful effects that small engines have on the environment. After more research and planning, Solar Earth Lawn care was created with the mission to keep lawns beautiful while reducing the community’s air and water pollution.

According to Gus, not many people truly understand the impact that small engines have on the environment:

  • Approximately 20% of the gas and oil used in regular lawn mowing machines is not burned, but dispensed directly into the air as vapor.
  • The amount of air pollution released while running a regular lawn mower for 1 hour equates to the damage done by 11 new cars running for 1 hour.
  • Gas mowers emit hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen (the principle ingredients of smog), particulate matter (damaging to the respiratory system), carbon monoxide (a poisonous gas) and carbon dioxide (contributing to global warming).
  • Small engines contribute 5% to 10% of the nation's overall air pollution.

Because not many lawn care companies have adapted to greener trends, what makes Solar Earth Lawn Care unique is their use of electric equipment and organic fertilizer. Not only does it benefit the environment, it benefits their clients too. They can have peace of mind that there are no emissions and low noise when Solar Earth provides their services.

Born and raised in Indy, Gus Mariscal knew Indianapolis was a special place to start and grow his business. The size of the city really brings everyone together into one tight-knit community. He also believes that people in Indy have a willingness to change for the better. Solar Earth’s goal is to help people change in order to better benefit the environment.

As a successful business owner, Gus knows you have to ask for help when you need it. In his second year of Solar Earth, Gus began searching for monetary resources to grow his business. A traditional lender wasn’t a good option due to his relatively short operations history, so his banker recommended BOI as an alternative lender. The loan stood out to Gus among other options because of how personalized the process was. His business coach, Sarah, walked him through the process of exactly how much money he would need so that he didn’t over fund. (And the interest rates were great!)

Since then, Solar Earth Lawn Care has doubled every year. Gus attributes his success to two things: his customers and his coaching. BOI has helped Solar Earth connect them to the community better and help get the word out about their business on a local level.

Gus’ advice to entrepreneurs is that if you have a decent plan, go get started. There is no better time than now, and no better place than Indy.

Learn more about Solar Earth Lawn Care at solarearthlawncare.com.

Learn more about BOI's free one-on-one business coaching and small business loans up to $50,000 at indychamber.com/entrepreneurship

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