Happy Earth on Sustainable Gardens
May 2, 2023
It has been heartening to see more and more of Angelenos’ lawns replaced by drought tolerant, native gardens. Happy Earth an LA-based small business, is dedicated to educating people about how to make their yards more sustainable and conservation-oriented. We spoke with Andrew Springer, founder of Happy Earth, about potential solutions for a more sustainable LA, his favorite parts of running his own business, and more.
N2N: How do you think small businesses are important to LA’s economic ecosystem and future?
AS: Small businesses are essential to the fabric of any local economy, but especially in Los Angeles. They are a key source of jobs for so many Angelenos. The recent pandemic, coupled with technological advances, has created a lot of temporary or part-time work opportunities for individuals; however, I don’t think a society of independent contractors is sustainable. Small businesses are the best at supporting local sustainable communities.
N2N: What are your hopes for the future of LA?
AS: You might not know it driving on LA freeways during typical commuting hours, but more people have left LA than have moved to LA in recent years following the pandemic. The impacts caused by our tendency to focus on our differences rather than our similarities have yet to be determined. However, there’s no place better than LA. There’s amazing nature, culture, and diversity here. You just can’t beat it.
N2N: What ideas do you have for LA becoming more sustainable and community-oriented?
AS: I see a need for more sustainable gardens. There’s a lot of natural space around the LA community that has been neglected. I started Happy Earth to help people live more sustainably and to connect with nature. Our habits need to change. We help customers with low water gardens emphasizing native plants, water conservation, and growing and harvesting fruit and vegetables. We donate the extra produce whenever possible. We also make every effort to keep artificial turf out of the gardens we design, install, and care for — there’s no need for plastic in the garden. Making change is a slower process than people are accustomed to, though— we say it’s like watching the plants grow. I know that in time, sustainable gardens will bring people together.
N2N: Do you have any stories about positive interactions you've had with your clients or local community?
AS: We have positive interactions all the time. One of the best feelings is renovating a landscape and watching the birds and butterflies move in after we’re done. You can feel it. It just feels good to have a flowering green garden with various textures that create a habitat right in front of you.
N2N: What are some of your favorite parts of entrepreneurship?
AS: I love a challenge. I started Happy Earth to help people live more sustainably and to connect with nature. I take pride in providing the best landscape service for our customers and creating good jobs for the community. Our work is labor intensive, and I’m proud of the jobs Happy Earth has created and has yet to create. The long-term vision for Happy Earth is to create a company that has economies of scale yet feels like a small business at all times. A business that is relatable and personable. A business that is local. I’m excited about this potential.
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