Publisher’s Corner: Earth Day Every Day!

Nineteen years ago at the Earth Day Festival in Tower Grove Park, our first edition of The Healthy Planet magazine was introduced to the public. Granted it was a friendly crowd that gave us a very warm reception. I set up a table next to a guy selling t-shirts and handed each person a copy of our fledgling publication. It was the beginning of a wonderful relationship with so many people over the years, most of which were and still are instrumental in keeping the “Green” movement alive in St. Louis. Top of the list is Jean Ponzi, Green Resources Manager for the Earthways Center at Missouri Botanical Garden. She helped link The Healthy Planet to the “Environmental Community”. We since have had some wonderful people writing and advocating for our magazine. I would try to name them all but I would leave someone out and feel really bad. So thank you to you all who have written for us and for your contributions to the “Green Movement” in St. Louis. A special thank you does need to be given to all those people who have worked so hard to bring St. Louis the annual Earth Day Festival and all its programs including Recycling on the Go and the Green Dining Alliance. These people and the volunteers work so very hard to make the festival and programs work for all of us. In the past 19 years we have seen so many of these programs grow. The St. Louis Jefferson Solid Waste Management District has offered up numerous grants to communities, organizations and businesses who endorse and enact eco-friendly agendas and business practices that will educate and offer green resources to the public. The USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council – Missouri Gateway Chapter) has also grown and become an established standard bearer for eco-conscious and energy efficient building & construction since it’s inception in 2001. The Missouri Coalition For The Environment works diligently with local and state legislation geared toward healthier and greener lives for all of us. Other groups like the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society, Trailnet, Green Rivers Greenway, Missouri Department of Conservation, Forest Releaf, GrassRoots Green Network and others are all working to make Earth Day “Every Day”. And my hat goes off to so many of the local farmers like La Vista CSA Farm, Earthdance Farm, Vesterbrook Farm, Shared Bounty, Lee Farms, Seeds of Hope Farm, Sandy Valley, Avant Gardens and others who offer CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) using many organic and natural growing practices. The green movement has also affected businesses which have adopted a bigger Green Thumbprint and a smaller Carbon Footprint. Many school, church, camp and community programs have been created using eco-friendly curriculums and practices. There is a Scout saying that you always leave an area cleaner than it was when you got there. And by educating our children as best we can about protecting and preserving our planet, we can sleep well at night knowing that our kids are greener than we were at their age. These “Green Kids” of today are our best hope for a Healthy Planet tomorrow!

See You At Earth Day! J.B. Lester, Publisher