Improving Your Corner Of The World 4


How Sun Power Lawn Care Got Its Start

Tom Snogles is the founder and owner of Sun Power Lawn Care, a Gainesville, FL electric lawn care and maintenance business dedicated to quiet and sustainable service.

Photo: Jim Conner

Photo: Jim Conner

Up to five percent of all air pollution in the U.S. comes from one machine that you might have in your garage or shed right now.

Use it for one hour, and you’ve produced the same emissions as a 100-mile car ride.

When we think of dangerous air pollution, we often think of SUVs, coal plants, or giant factories. But I’m talking about the common gas-powered lawn mower, which is spilling out pollutants from yards across the U.S. every day.

Sun Power Lawn Care was born with a commitment to do better. Coming from years of experience in traditional lawn care, I knew that when I started my own service, I would emphasize sustainable practices and energy-efficient equipment. So I cut out the gas mower entirely. All of Sun Power Lawn Care’s equipment is electric and we get energy from solar panels, meaning we don’t spill any gasoline and we don’t produce any greenhouse gas emissions.

I feel that every person should be out there trying to improve their little corner of the world – Sun Power Lawn Care is my way to achieve this goal, and to help others achieve it.

Solar Panel Instal

Installing a solar panel on our first truck

We launched in 2014 and since then we’ve been steadily building our team, client base, and network throughout the Gainesville area. We’re lucky to have gotten our start in a place that values sustainable practices on an institutional level, and is filled with other people who are always looking for greener, healthier ways to live and work.

Of course, there were challenges at first. As with any green business, we had to assess and adapt our expectations for how much alternative energy we would be able to rely on right off the bat. Our dream to be completely self-reliant on solar energy got a reality check when we realized we weren’t yet able to produce enough power for our commercial-grade equipment. That meant we had to get some of our energy from Gainesville’s power grid, which isn’t a renewable source.

But there have also been so many positive surprises since Sun Power Lawn Care launched two years ago.

We quickly discovered that for many clients, our electric equipment is vital not only because it uses clean energy, but also because it’s so quiet. Whether you work from home, have a new baby in the house, run a business with waiting rooms, host frequent meetings/presentations, or just don’t want to disturb the neighborhood, quiet electric lawn care and landscaping is a great solution.

referral partners

BNI Green Machine – Trades Power Team

We’ve also been excited to develop a strong network of social entrepreneurs and referral partners. A business owner could have all the right equipment and all the right skills, but without the right people in his or her corner, none of that matters. We’re committed to finding others who share our goal of building a stronger and healthier community – people who can lift us up in our work, and who we can lift up in turn. Here in Gainesville, we’ve been proud to collaborate with Betterme Productions, Naturally Green Landscape Design, McCall Service Pest Control, Florida Real Estate Sales, Inc. and Giggle Magazine/Wellness 360 Magazine among others.

840 Watt landscape solar trailer

Our first 840 Watt solar trailer, May 2016

As our business grows, we always have our eye on the next big thing. Some of our goals for the future include bringing clean, quiet landscape maintenance south toward Clearwater and Tampa. We will continue investing in quality people for new work crews. We recently adopted lighter, stronger lithium-ion technology into our equipment, and upgraded our charging system from one solar panel to three, which gives us many more watts of power to tackle more yards. Sun Power Lawn Care is our opportunity to make a positive impact on the environment, so we want to make the biggest impact we can across as many little corners of the world that we can reach.

We’re also aiming for goals that are bigger than just our business. That issue with the power grid? For now, we can advocate for our government to pursue sustainable policies and adopt a renewable energy source. As climate change takes its toll on our planet, I believe it’s important for social entrepreneurs like myself to demonstrate that green infrastructure is necessary and viable, and that consumers are ready for it.

While I’m proud of what we’ve achieved so far at Sun Power Lawn Care, I know there are always more steps to take, new connections to make, more sustainable practices to discover. As we move ahead, we’re looking forward to continuing our work and growing our network, and, ultimately, helping make everybody’s grass a little greener.


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