Go for the Green

By Peter DeHaan, Ph.D.

Peter DeHaan, Publisher and Editor of AnswerStatNo, this isn’t an article about amassing quantities of cash or an allusion to pursuing an Olympic medal. Rather, it is about environmental green, specifically as related to AnswerStat magazine.

Having been bitten by the ecology bug as a teenager, I have always had a favorable predisposition towards the environment and environmentally friendly exercises. While avoiding some of the more fanatical environmental practices, I have followed a better, more balanced approach. Yes, I carefully avoid careless, thoughtless, or needless actions that produce detrimental environmental outcomes, but I also realize that some environmentally friendly efforts carry unrealistic price tags or produce negligible results.

For example, it was recently reported that the pollution created driving to the recycling center generally outweighs the small environmental benefits gained from the items being recycled. My approach then is to simply take steps to reduce the use of products that need recycling in the first place.

It is, however, the concept of carbon credits that produces the most bewilderment. Isn’t that the same type of thinking that would lead one to conclude that it is ethically acceptable to speed as long as someone else is driving slow? That is, one person’s speeding is offset by another driver’s willingness to dawdle, with their combined average velocity becoming a lawful combination. The next time you’re stopped for being in too much of a hurry, try that argument with the police officer and see how far you get.

As a magazine publisher, I am well-aware that eventually the vast majority of the magazines we print will end up in the landfill. True, AnswerStat magazine has amazing staying power, often being spotted in the waiting rooms and executive offices of our readers, continuing to be used long after issues of other magazines have been forgotten and discarded. In fact, some people retain old issues, even claiming to have every issue. This encouraging and inspiring reality motivates us to do our utmost to publish an informative and worthy journal for every issue. Even so, some day most copies will become trash, with only a lucky few being recycled for a return trip to the printing press.

So what does this all mean? Will we stop printing and go 100% green? Certainly not. Alternately, will we disregard the eventual waste that will be produced and merrily print away? Again, an emphatic no!  Instead, we take a pragmatic approach, doing what is reasonable and cost-effective, while avoiding extreme reactions that really accomplish little. Here are our plans:

We Will Continue to Print: We are committed to providing a printed copy of AnswerStat magazine to those who are interested. For those who enjoy the printed copy to read, to hold, to carry, and to file, we will be there for you for as long as it is cost-effective to do so. If at some point printing and mailing AnswerStat (which accounts for over half our costs) becomes cost-prohibitive, do not despair; AnswerStat magazine will continue to exist electronically: online, as a PDF, or using emerging technologies. Even so, we need your help:

Help Us Fine-Tune Our Mailing List: Check the back cover to see if you need to update your mailing address or renew your subscription. If the mailing label says “Please Renew Now,” please update your address or confirm your subscription. This will allow you to continue to receive every issue of AnswerStat magazine. You may also use this page to start your own subscription if you happen to be reading someone else’s copy.

Every mailing list has a percentage of addressees who no longer want to receive mail. We need to identify those folks and remove them. By renewing your subscription, you confirm that you want to continue receiving this magazine.

Make Sure We Have Your Email Address: We will use your email address to renew your subscription, send relevant information, and, if you wish, email you our newsletter, Medical Call Center News. If you are not currently receiving it, that is likely because we don’t have your email address.

Cancel Unneeded and Unused Subscriptions: If your organization receives more copies of AnswerStat magazine then you need, please cancel the extras. You may easily do this from our website or via email or phone.

We Will Continue to Provide Options: In addition to printing AnswerStat magazine, we also provide two online options: a complete PDF file of each issue and text files of each article. Click on the “articles” link to access either option. This section also contains every article that ever appeared in AnswerStat; they are grouped by issue and by topic. Here’s how to tap into this:

Subscribe to Electronic Delivery: Many of our subscribers receive AnswerStat magazine electronically. What exactly does that mean? It means they receive an email as soon as each issue is ready. The email contains three links:

  • The first link allows readers to view the issue online.
  • The second link is to the article listing for those who like to read articles online.
  • The third link is to our sponsor, who makes the electronic distribution of AnswerStat magazine possible. Please join me in thanking them.

Electronic subscribers are able to read AnswerStat a week or more before anyone receives their printed copy. Why don’t you try it? Your mailed subscription will continue while you get used to electronic delivery. Just remember to cancel your mailed subscription when you no longer need it – or cancel your electronic subscription if it’s not what you expected. Of course, if you wish, you can continue to receive it both ways.

Our Newsfeed: Alternately, check out our newsfeed. It posts a notice when each new issue is available, as well as breaking news and other industry information, plus new articles. It also has an RSS feed, as well as allows you to receive email notification.

The Future Looks Bright: While the magazine industry continues to right-size, AnswerStat is already well-positioned to be a survivor because of our low overhead and our avoidance of some of the industry’s outdated “standard operating procedures.”  We will continue to serve you, our loyal readers, with both paper and electronic versions of the magazine, a popular and growing website, an informative blog, and our newsletter, Medical Call Center News. Whatever the future holds, AnswerStat will be there for you!

Peter DeHaan is the publisher and editor-in-chief of AnswerStat magazine and a passionate wordsmith. Connect with him on his personal blogs, social media sites, and newsletter, all accessible from peterdehaan.com.

[From the April/May 2010 issue of AnswerStat magazine]