From the Publisher

Seasons Greenings

by Chris Klein
got a real surprise this past Halloween.
We live on a rather steep hill, which probably explains why we only get a dozen or so trick-or-treaters. Translation: one bag of Hershey bars will do, cleanup will be minimal and the cats are probably safe. While pondering a trip to the store for the obligatory sweets, my wife Carolyn suggested apples instead. It turns out we had a big bag of fine, organically-grown apples left over from a San Diego Earth Day event the prior week.
Now, I don't know what you were like as a kid, but in my neighborhood fruit was the booby prize. If the treat didn't put you into diabetic shock just looking at it, it would probably go into the trash with the empty candy wrappers. Fruit was something your parents put into your lunchbox ... not bad, but not much of a treat.
So it was with some trepidation that I answered the first knock on the door. Three preteen ghouls looked up and me through their greasepaint and delivered an obligatory and lukewarm, "trick-or-treat." I rather sheepishly held out the shopping bag. "Er, I've got some apples here. Organic apples."
Then came the surprise. In unison, their faces lit up, and the skeleton declared. "Oh boy! Apples!" They didn't just grab one; they rummaged around in the bag to get the best one.
I figured it was a fluke, until the second set of visitors had much the same reaction. In fact, after making my declaration about the organic apples, an eight-year-old Spiderman proclaimed, "That's good. Pesticides are dangerous." The kid knew what organic meant!
I grew bolder. "Guess what, kids! Organic apples!" With the exception of a cowboy and his posse and one or two other disappointed archetypes, the youngsters all seemed amazingly pleased with the gift.
Now, I know it's a bad idea to try and generalize about the state of the world from a couple dozen 30-second interactions some local kids. But somebody out there is getting an important message across, is getting their job done. I can only hope that what I experienced is typical, not just a bizarre anomaly.

Don't forget to recycle your Christmas tree. Call the county recycling hotline for the dropoff site nearest you: (800) 237-2583. Better yet, get and keep a live tree.

This month marks the Earth Times' one year anniversary. This is our seventh issue: we started out publishing bimonthly in December, 1993, and went monthly this past October.
Producing the Times has been easier than expected and harder than expected.
An easy part is getting material to publish. However, given the limited space, a hard part is figuring out what you want to see. Please write, call, fax or e-mail with your comments: what you liked , what you didn't like, and what you want to hear about.
An easy part is the production. The entire publication lives on my Macintosh until I take the disk to the printer. No messy cut and paste. Nice.
A hard part is paying for it. Times are tough out there; you've probably noticed. You can help. When you visit our advertisers, tell them you saw it in the Earth Times. It will make a difference. Really.