Publisher’s Corner

Beginning Our 25th Year By Repurposing Our Magazine Online

As The Healthy Planet magazine begins our 25th year in business, I can’t help but remember that first Earth Day Festival back in 1997 in Tower Grove Park. I set up a booth offering copies of our fledgling magazine to a friendly, like-minded crowd. It was well received, and I felt like maybe we could make a go of it. After all, I had left my position as co-publisher of The Webster-Kirkwood Times of which I co-founded way back in 1978. Publishing is in my blood. That’s why this online version of The Healthy Planet is a new adventure for me.

Due to the pandemic, we have taken our message of health, wellness and environmental news digital. I am learning so much as my younger web master is teaching me how to reinvent our online presence. I don’t know when and if we might go back to print. I do enjoy reducing our carbon footprint to almost zero with our online magazine. But I also miss holding the printed magazine in my hand as I did at that my first Earth Day in 1997. I realize that times have changed. Even the Earth Day Festival for 2021 is going virtual for the second year in a row. https://earthday-365.org/earth-month-2021/

There is light at the end of the tunnel with more and more vaccines being rolled out and many people getting vaccinated. Perhaps by the fall, life as we knew it, will return at some level. For now, we proudly bring you the same, quality magazine you have grown to love for the past 24 years. I have to admit, that 10 years ago I said, “Oh, no one will be reading articles on their tablets and certainly not their phones.” Well, I was wrong. Our digital devices have become part of us. People are reading so much on their laptops, tablets and yes, their phones. The younger you are, the more you use your smart phone for “everything.” But us older folks are heavily attached to our phones, too. I check my email, play Yatzee with Friends, and read articles people send me. I still use my laptop for most of my internet searches and research, but my smart phone is always by my side and occasionally I use it for phone calls. My daughters have taught me to mostly text rather than email them. I have a Twitter account but have not mastered the art of the Tweet yet. I don’t do Instagram or any of the other platforms people talk and often complain about.

I feel our online version of our magazine is every bit as good as our print edition. We have more flexibility and timeliness. We aren’t constrained by the stricter deadlines of print. The pandemic has hurt our advertising revenue as it has done to most small businesses. But we have partnered with many environmental and community organizations in sending out 30,000 free subscriptions each month. Our loyal readers are following us online so our readership is growing. And now we are going to give our website a facelift so we can offer our advertisers and readers more content, more hits, and more unique views. I have to be honest, I don’t really understand all that. They are trying to teach this old dog new tricks. I am learning, but it takes time and I might need flash cards, charts and other visual aids. Nonetheless, we are working hard to bring you the same great advertisers, the same great writers and columnists you have grown to love over the years. Plus, we are always adding new content and new resources so you can improve the quality of your life and the life of our planet.

Whether you read us on your computer, your laptop, your tablet or your smart phone, we are here for you, just like we have been for the past 24 years. It has been a pleasure bringing you The Healthy Planet and that pleasure continues online for now. We thank you for your support and look forward to many more years together. For now, continue to avoid large crowds, mask up, get vaccinated and save lives. Celebrate Earth Day online at https://earthday-365.org/earth-month-2021/ and remember to reduce, recycle and repurpose in order to minimize your carbon footprint. We only have one Earth. Let’s love an honor her like a mother.

On the cover: A special thank you to our friend and artist Leslie Faust, who did this art for us some years ago and we “repurposed” it for this special Earth Day cover.

JB Lester; Publisher