Webfinder: Green Living

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10 FREE Ways to Go Green provides practical green tips that can easily be introduced into your daily routine (Earth 911; site includes advertisements).

EPA’s Household Carbon Footprint Calculator helps you estimate your household’s greenhouse gas emissions, then suggests actions you can take to lower your emissions while reducing your energy and waste disposal costs. You’ll find links to related resources at Greener Living page. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

EWG’s Healthy Living Tips are aimed at helping you create a cleaner and greener home that is good for your family and the planet. Printable PDFs cover topics such as personal care products & …CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THIS WEBFINDER!

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Webfinder: Green Shopping

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EPA’s Sustainable Marketplace aims at helping you choose safer, more environmentally-friendly, and often less costly products & services. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

EWG’s Skin Deep is an online safety guide for cosmetics and personal care products, launched in 2004 to help people find safer products, with fewer ingredients that are hazardous or that haven’t been thoroughly tested. EWG also has similar guides for Household Cleaners, Food, and other products (Environmental Working Group)

Good Stuff is a ‘Behind-the-Scenes Guide to the Things We Buy’ with tips and facts you can use to start making more informed purchases that benefit your health and the …CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THIS WEBFINDER!

Webfinder : Green Lawn & Garden

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Bug Review offers descriptions of some common home & garden insect pests, with photographs, habits, potential damage, and non-chemical control recommendations (University of Illinois). For information about ticks and how to deal with them, see Preventing Ticks in the Yard [NEW!] (U.S. CDC), Ticks and Tick-borne Disease [NEW!] (Rutgers Cooperative Extension) and Tick Bites (Medline). Pest Management in Homes, Gardens, Landscapes, and Turf includes guidelines for monitoring pests, and non-pesticide alternatives for managing pests – including birds, mammals, reptiles, deer, gophers, raccoons, etc. (University of California; some information is specific to California). Invasive Species [UPDATED LINK!] offers photos, videos, and information to help you identify invasive species (plants, insects, animals, and pathogens & diseases) in your lawn or garden, with links to additional resources (USDA).

Composting for Kids [Link opens a PDF] has good basic instruction in the whys and hows of composting, for kids or adult beginners (Texas Agricultural Extension Service). See also Composting for the Homeowner [UPDATED LINK!] (University of Illinois …CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THIS WEBFINDER!

Webfinder : Recycling

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Recycling in South Plainfield provides information for local residents on drop-off and curbside pickup, including yard waste, textiles, motor oil, paint, tires, electronics and more. See also Middlesex County Recycling. PLEASE NOTE: Middlesex County is now strictly enforcing local recycing rules [NEW!]. The South Plainfield Public Library accepts empty ink and toner cartridges from computer printers or copiers. Our Where to Donate Goods page offers information on local, regional, and national organizations that can make good use of your used goods!

Recycling NJ and Earth 911 and Recycle Nation have lots of useful information …CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THIS WEBFINDER!

Webfinder: Spring Cleaning

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STEP 1: Clear out the clutter! – The University of Illinois Extension Service offers practical advice on sorting, organizing, storing, and getting rid of stuff. You’ll find more clutter-busting tips at Live Simple: Rule Your Stuff and Surprising Strategies for Finally Organizing Your Space.

STEP 2: Where to Donate Goods – If you’re doing spring cleaning, you may find things to get rid of that are too good for the trash. What to do with them? Our ‘Where to Donate Goods’ page can help! Includes recycling info, too.

STEP 3: Resell that stuff! – Thinking about having a yard sale to get rid of some of that extra stuff? Download the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Reseller’s Guide to screen for hazardous products that should go in the trash instead!

STEP 4: Safeguard your Personal Data [NEW!]– Getting rid of old financial/legal documents as well as old electronics that may contain sensitive information, can be an important STEP of de-cluttering. But it can also pose a risk to your personal data. These pages offers practical tips on safeguarding your data. See also Enable security features on smartphones and tablets [NEW!] (2019, Indiana University), …CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THIS WEBFINDER!

Webfinder: Kids’ Sports & Coaching

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Universal Class Continuing Education Coaching Little League BasketballYou must Create an account on Universal Class
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Coaching Boys Into Men – Aimed at helping coaches to reduce disrespectful or dangerous attitudes and behaviors toward women, this site offers coaching tips, advice and useful anecdotes from great coaches and players. NOTE: The coaches’ kit and related materials are free to download, but you must go through a checkout process and provide your name, address, & email to get them. (Family Violence Prevention Fund; non-profit organization)

Competitive Sports: Helping Kids Play it Cool – Sometimes the pressure to succeed on the field or in the court can be overwhelming. Learn what you can do to help your child keep things in perspective. There are related pages for Kids and Teens. (Nemours Foundation)

Concussions in Youth Sports [UPDATED LINK!] – Information for coaches, athletes, and parents on how to prevent and recognize concussions. See also …CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THIS WEBFINDER!

Webfinder: People with Disabilities

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Disability.gov is no longer available. Many of these resources, covering benefits, civil rights, community life, education, and employment, are now linked at the U.S. Department of Labor. See also Federal ADA and Disability Resources, and Disability Assistance (select ‘Disability Assistance’ from the ‘Filter by Subcategory’ menu). The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Home Page includes an introduction to the ADA, plus design standards, business requirements, links to other Federal Agencies with ADA responsibilities, and more (U.S. Department of Justice). The N.J. Division of Disability Services primarily serves people who have become disabled as adults, whether through illness or injury, but also has a toll free hotline (1-888-285-3036) providing information and referral assistance for people with any type of disability.

Call 2-1-1 when you need to find state or local resources to address urgent needs or everyday concerns, including health & mental health services, food banks, shelter, rental or utility assistance, adult day care, Meals on Wheels, transportation, childcare, crisis intervention services, job training, education, and more. 2-1-1 is free, confidential, multi-lingual, confidential, TTY accessible, and available 24/7. Specialists will guide callers to the most helpful available resources. Visit the website for more information. NOTE : 2-1-1 calls are generally toll-free; however, if you are calling 2-1-1 from your cell phone, please check with your cell phone service provider first to find out whether you will be charged for the call. You can also reach 2-1-1 by dialing 877-652-1148 (United Way, in partnership with the State of New Jersey). See also Community & Social Services page.

AbleData – A comprehensive database for information on “products, solutions and resources to improve productivity and ease life’s tasks.” Includes New Jersey Resources & Organizations (Maintained for the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research of the U.S. Dept. of Education by New Editions Consulting).
…CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THIS WEBFINDER!

Webfinder: Personal Finance 101

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dbuclass1[Click here for Info about UNIVERSAL CLASS]

Ask the Money Doctor – A volunteer panel of qualified CPAs answer questions from consumers regarding their financial planning issues. You can read past Q & As or submit your own question. Part of the 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy website, which has a variety of free tools & info designed “to help Americans understand their personal finances through every stage of life” (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants). Consumer.gov  provides easy-to-read instructions on the basics of making a budget, opening a bank account, understanding your paycheck, avoiding scams, using debit, prepaid, & phone cards, managing credit & debt, and more (Federal Trade Commission). Smart About Money offers ‘practical articles, worksheets, tips and valuable resources from across the Web to help you understand and manage your money’ (National Endowment for Financial Education; non-profit foundation).

Banking – See Banking Basics and related links.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Advice and FAQ about credit cards, mortgages, loans (including student loans), debt collection, and more, plus information about credit discrimination, foreclosure help, and an online complaint form.

Consumer Reports: Money News – Blog posts offering helpful information and tips on personal finance, investment, banking & credit, retirement, and more. See the New England Federal Credit Union‘s Financial Resource Center for more helpful tips & info.

Debt Collection FAQs – The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect from you. This page has some questions and answers about your rights under the Act. See also Dealing with Debt for related information. (Federal Trade Commission)

Financial Records: How Long to Keep Tax Records and Other Documents – Explains what financial, tax, and other documents you should keep, and how long you should them (2018, Consumer Reports). See also Recordkeeping  (2019, Internal Revenue Service) .

Financial Calculators – Should I refinance my mortgage? Rent or buy? How much do I need to save for my child’s college education? How much for retirement? These interactive financial calculators and other tools will help you with some of the day-to-day financial questions and concerns that may arise in your life or business (Visa, Inc.).

Government Benefits – A free, confidential, and easy-to-use online screening tool to help you find out whether you qualify for U.S. or state government benefits. (U.S. Government website)

Pinch Pennies in the Right Places – Explains how to save more money by looking at discounts in total dollars saved, not at the percentage of the discount (2016, New York Times). For more practical tips on thrifty living, see Affluenza (PBS).

Retirement Plans – Information to help you choose and set up a retirement plan. Describes different types of retirement plans, including IRAs and IRA-Based Plans, 401(k) & 403(b) Plans, and many others. Includes links to relevant tax forms, publications, and related resources (Internal Revenue Service). The Social Security Retirement Planner provides detailed information about your Social Security retirement benefits under current law, and points out things you may want to consider as you prepare for the future. Includes calculators to test out different retirement ages or different future earnings amounts (Social Security Administration).

Student Debt Repayment – Advice on what options you have if you are falling behind on your student loan payments, plus other financial help for students. (CFPB, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)

DISCLAIMER

Links updated January 2019.

Webfinder: Investment

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dbsmallbiz EbscoHost Business Source Elite EbscoHost Regional Business News

Business Opportunity Scams – ‘Looking for a job or to earn extra income? Buying into a business opportunity that makes big claims about what you can earn might sound like the answer…. Learn about your rights and the seller’s responsibilities under the FTC’s Business Opportunity Rule, and questions to ask that can help you avoid a rip-off. ‘ (Federal Trade Commission)

Insured or Not Insured? – Explains what types of investments are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and which are NOT insured – even when they are offered by a bank. (2013, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation)

Investor Education – A variety of online investor education resources for investors of all ages (North American Securities Administrators Association). Learn About Investing offers printable Investor Education booklets, videos, and related resources (Investor Protection Trust; non-profit organization).

Investor.gov – Online resources to help you invest wisely and avoid fraud. Topics covered include Introduction to Investing,  Researching Investments, and Protecting Your Investments. Also offers calculators, glossary, and other useful tools, plus specialized resources for Youth, Seniors, Military and other groups. See also Investor FAQ and Investor Alerts & Bulletins. (U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission)

Investor Knowledge Quiz (PDF) – How much do you really know about investing? Take this short quiz and test your knowledge. Avoiding Investment Scams (PDF) warns investors about classic types of investment fraud and helps investors spot and avoid the types of persuasion tactics fraudsters use. (FINRA, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; non-profit organization)

Investors: Protect Your Money – Advice and alerts on a wide range of investment products (529 plans, annuities, bonds, mutual funds, private offerings, retirement accounts, securities and more) along with other information to help you avoid problems in today’s complex world of investing. See also SaveandInvest.org. (FINRA, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; non-profit organization)

SmartCheck.gov – Free tools to check the background of financial professionals and stay informed on the latest fraud schemes. (U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission [CFTC])

Social Funds: Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment – ‘Comprehensive information, contacts & resources on socially responsible investing.’

U.S. Treasury Products – Explains the difference between different types of bonds, how Treasury auctions work and how to participate, and how Treasury products fit into your savings strategy, plus detailed information on how to buy, redeem, reinvest or convert selected U.S. Treasury securities such as savings bonds, treasury bills, and treasury notes. (U.S. Department of the Treasury)

The following websites are some popular sources for market quotes, plus financial news & information: [NOTE: Online quotes may be delayed, except where indicated]: Bloomberg Markets, Google Finance, MarketWatch, Morningstar, Motley Fool Investment, MSN Investing, Value Line, Wall Street Journal, Yahoo! Finance.

DISCLAIMER

Links updated 1/19

Webfinder: New Year’s Resolutions

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It’s that time of year when many of us give serious thought to goals we want to accomplish during the coming year. If you’re making New Year’s Resolutions, we’ve put together some good resources that might help you get started… and succeed!

Lose weight / get fit

Quit smoking / drinking / drug abuse / gambling

Change careers

Start a business

Be a better parent

Get out of debt / start saving

Read more

Volunteer in your community (See also: Volunteer Match, Serve.gov, Volunteer.gov, All for Good, and Senior Corps.)

Learn a new language

Reduce stress

Research your family tree

Go back to school

Plant a garden

Get more tech-savvy

Travel

And a few more general resources you may find useful:

Links updated December 2018.

DISCLAIMER