Webfinder : Charitable Giving

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Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance (Give.org) – Evaluates the management practices of hundreds of national charities. Also offers Advice for Donors, including basic advice, and advice on specific topics such as Disaster Relief, Police & Firefighter Appeals, Car & Used Goods Donations, Charity Sweepstakes, Child Sponsorship and more. (Council of Better Business Bureau, Inc.)

Charity Navigator – Rates the financial health of thousands of charities. If you register (free) you can also receive an occasional e-newsletter, suggest groups you would like to see evaluated, and keep track of charities that interest you. The site also offers special reports on topics of current interest to donors, as well as Tips for Donors, advice on Evaluating Charities Not Currently Rated by Charity Navigator, and a report on charities’ CEO Compensation, most recently done in 2016. (Non-profit organization; site includes advertisements)

Charity Scams – “If you’re thinking about giving to a charity, do your research to avoid fraudsters who try to take advantage of your generosity. Here are tips to help make sure …CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THIS WEBFINDER!

Webfinder: Disasters

Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. Are you ready? If not, check out these resources!

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Disasters: Prepare Your Home & Family – General advice on how to prepare for natural disasters or other emergencies, including tips for taking care of children, people with disabilities, seniors, and pets. Disaster Preparedness Library focuses on specific types …CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THIS WEBFINDER!

Webfinder: Genealogy Resources

Ancestry Library Edition logo Heritage Quest logo

PLEASE NOTE: While the library remains closed due to COVID-19, Ancestry.com is providing free remote access to their ANCESTRY LIBRARY EDITION! See http://www.southplainfield.lib.nj.us/ancestryremote.pdf for instructions on how to log in with your library card number. Our video on How to Access Ancestry Library Edition [NEW!] will lead you step-by-step through setting up an account and starting your research.

Afro-American Genealogical Research Guide – A list of useful print resources for researching for African-Americans trying to trace their family history (Library of Congress). See also History Hub, below, and Slave Trade Voyages & its sister site, African Origins (Emory University et al.)

American Indian Ancestry – A guide to acquiring the genealogical documentation needed to establish descent from an Indian tribe for …CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THIS WEBFINDER!

Webfinder: Green Living

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Baby Steps to Going Green [NEW!] 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!

Staycation Guide 2021

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museumThinking about keeping your vacation local this summer, or maybe just planning to do some exploring right here where we live? Maybe you’re new to the area, or just haven’t had a chance to get to know what’s in your own backyard? We have information that can help you find fun & family-friendly things to do in South Plainfield and the surrounding area!

PLEASE NOTE: Some of the attractions listed below may be closed to the public during the pandemic, or may have limited capacity or other restrictions. Please check with the facility before planning a visit.

The South Plainfield Recreation Department offers summer sports camps, swimming lessons, and a Community Pool. Did you know that South Plainfield’s Spring Lake Park has tennis courts, basketball court, playground, bikeways/walkways, fishing, and free concerts? For other parks and nature preserves in the Central Jersey area, see Middlesex County Parks & Recreation, Union County Parks & Recreation, Somerset County Parks, and Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. In Hillsborough (Somerset County), Duke Farms offers hiking & biking trails, nature & horticulture programs, family activities, and more. The Nature Conservancy in N.J. offers information on nature …CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THIS WEBFINDER!

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). For more on green cleaning, see our Spring Cleaning Webfinder.

Fair Trade America [NEW!] – “Fair trade means the farmers and workers who grow the food we eat and produce the products we use get a fair deal.” This site features certified fair trade products & brands, as well as advice on How to Shop Sustainably (US branch of Fairtrade International.). Slave-Free Companies [NEW!] offers a list of companies making food, clothing, home goods, and other products that are Fair Trade certified, survivor-made, or fair trade verified. For additional advice, see Ways to Buy Slave-Free Products (End Slavery Now / National Underground Railroad Freedom Center).

Green America’s Responsible Shopper helps you ‘go green’ when buying a wide range of products & services. Green America also offers the Green Pages, a searchable directory of Green Products & Services, and recommends 12 Greener Options Than Amazon [UPDATED!] (non-profit membership organization)

Mind the Store rates 30 major U.S. retailers on what they’re doing about toxic …CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THIS WEBFINDER!

Webfinder: Recycling

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Recycled Items are Not Created Equal [Link opens a PDF] –  Despite what many consumers think, not all packaging materials are equally recyclable. This infographic shows you what happens to plastic, glass, and steel items when they are recycled (2019, Consumer Action).

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. 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: Investment 101

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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. (2019, 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. Use the Check Out Your Investment Professional search box to learn about an investment professional’s background, registration status, and more. Includes an Introduction to Investing, plus resources on protecting …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, Obstacles That Stop Us from Decluttering–And How to Overcome Them [NEW!] and 10 Quick and Easy Tips for a Tidy, Serene Home [NEW!].

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. See also Getting Rid of Your Unwanted Stuff [NEW!].

STEP 3: Resell that stuff! – Thinking about having a yard sale to get rid of some of that extra stuff? Consumer Product Safety Commission laws and regulations apply to anyone who sells or distributes consumer products — including individuals holding yard sales! Download the CPSCs Reseller’s Guide to screen for hazardous products that should go in the trash instead.

STEP 4: Safeguard your Personal Data – 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 (2020, Indiana University), Digital spring cleaning tips (2020, US-CERT), Proper Disposal of Electronic Devices (2019, US-CERT), …CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THIS WEBFINDER!

Webfinder: Personal Finance 101

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Universal Class course: Personal Finance 101 – How to Manage Your Money
[South Plainfield library card required; click here for details]

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). See also Money Smart for Adults [NEW!] lessons and related resources (2018, FDIC).

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. For general help, 25 tips to improve your financial well-being and Looking for an easy way to save money? are good starting …CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THIS WEBFINDER!