In 2005, Kelly Giard opened Clean Air Lawn Care, a carbon neutral lawn care business that uses biodiesel in its riding mowers and clean electric mowers, edgers and blowers. The company also has solar panels mounted on its hauling vehicles to recharge the equipment during the workday. By 2007, it had nine offices across the country, employed 20 people and had a partnership with Black and Decker including joint marketing as well as product development.
Local mom and pop companies with green services are slowly popping up across the country, according to Giard, but the trend is slow and fragmented. “Franchising is the only way to create large scale change in a timely manner,” he says. “In order to change the landscaping industry, everyone needs to know that clean alternatives exist.”