PUBLISHER’S CORNER 15 Years of Planet Publishing

Fifteen years ago, The Healthy Planet magazine was first introduced to the St. Louis public at the Earth Day Festival in Tower Grove Park. No staff, no signage, no eye catching booth with sign-ups for family vacations. Just me and a stack of fledgling magazines. I stood behind my table handing out my new publication to the crowd gathered at the tie-dyed t-shirt booth next to me. I understood that t-shirts had more appeal to the fair-going crowd at the time. But people seemed genuinely interested in my new venture. The Earth Day festival was held in May in those days. I assume to appease the weather gods. I am glad it is celebrated on the actual Earth Day now, April 22. Which just happens to be my wife Niki’s birthday. And as I write this column the day after the 2012 Earth Day festival, I want to congratulate Cassandra Hage and her great staff and crew of volunteers for another fantastic event. A fickle Mother Nature did not deter a determined Earth Day gathering!

We’ve been publishing for 15 years. Bringing the St. Louis area information they can use to help create a healthier and more sustainable world. A tall order 15 years ago, and a tall order today. The term “Green” was certainly in it’s infancy. Such an “alternative” or “radical” idea, this concept that we are using up our planet’s resources faster than we can replace them. What’s all this about melting ice caps, global climate change and greenhouse gases? We have come to learn so much in the past 15 years, and yet there are still those who rebuff the notion. We have suffered 9/11, two wars, Hurricane Katrina and economic upheaval. We have also seen the election of the first African American president, the stock market crash and recovery, the killing of Osama Bin Laden, two world championships for the St. Louis Cardinals, one Super Bowl for the St. Louis Rams and maybe a Stanley Cup for the St. Louis Blues. In 1997 gasoline was $1.22 a gallon and now it’s $3.79. Princess Diana and Mother Teresa died in 1997. First cases of the Bird Flu popped up in China. Over the past 15 years we have seen politics become more and more partisan. If that is possible. Approval ratings for the president and Congress has sunk to new lows. People are fed up. Back in 1997, the concept of a Health and Environmental magazine was a tough sell, but there was a “Green” movement in the air. People wanted to learn more about “alternative” health, wellness and what the heck eco-friendly really meant. With some “Eco Pioneers” in St. Louis like Jean Ponzi, David and Karla Wilson, Laura Neuman-Howe, Jerry Klamon, Roger Prior, Bob Solger, Gary Steps and others, St. Louis began to take on a brighter shade of green. And everyone is always interested in health — a topic that never goes out of style. So we hope to continue to bring you the best information on Green and Healthy Living for 15 more years. There’s plenty of work still left to do to help create a sustainable and Healthy Planet for ourselves and future generations. Let’s get to work!

Oh, yeah, that’s a new picture of me. I decided it was time to come out from underneath my hat. I’m not sure “bald is beautiful” in my case, or that “grass doesn’t grow on a busy street.” But now that I’m 60, I felt it time to embrace my inner cue ball.

In Good Health, J.B. Lester; Publisher