The Baal Shem Tov, or Besht —  the founder of Chasidism — 
met the soul of the Messiah during an ascent to heaven. 
The Besht asked him, "When will the Master come?" 
The Messiah answered, "When your wellsprings break forth to the outside!" 
(from a letter written by the Besht to his brother-in-law about one of his soul ascents) 

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CF bulbs can be hazardous waste

If you've participated in COEJL's lightbulb campaign, or if you've taken action to reduce your impact on climate change by using compact flourescent bulbs, please remember that CF bulbs contain mercury and should be disposed of at HAZARDOUS WASTE facilities.

Many times the folks that give out the compact fluorescent bulbs don't tell you how to dispose of them, and the manufacturers barely mention this. The most I've seen on bulbs given out by LA DWP is "Please dispose of properly." I had a long discussion with one of the DWP employees, begging him to just let people know this basic fact. (The other employee wouldn't talk about it at all.) All he said was, take it up with my bosses, if they tell me to I'll let people know.

Apparently the EPA (that's Bush's EPA) says its fine to throw the bulbs out because even if (i.e., when) they break in a landfill, the amount of mercury released is less than the amount kept out of the atmosphere by burning less coal or oil.

Since not all energy comes from mercury-producing combustion, that's not really a reasonable argument even if it were valid (but it's not). In any case, some bulbs (like one we brought home that day which broke before we installed it) don't even get to fulfill the long-life expectancy of these bulbs.

More than this, by not giving out the information, utilities or synagogues or whomever is distributing CF bulbs are depriving people of the information they need to make their own ethical choices. Kind of like not letting people know that GMO's are being used in foods they buy (though that seems worse).

At any rate, people are working on creating a CF bulb that doesn't use mercury, but until then, please dispose of your bulbs properly!



Design in progress © Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg 2006