Last updated 5/19/22
links and books you will find very useful.
Dear Friends, Family and Everyone,
Here are useful links and books. I am an activist, and I have come to learn how useful information can be to help others and those in need. Not every link or book is for everyone, but there is something for everyone. And please help those in need with this if you can by sharing this information responsibly. Your help makes a miracle!
This website is in three major parts: the first is wise buying choices, the second self-help books, and the third for very low and no income people. All of it is worth a look, a general resource guide for leveraging out of poverty with wise choices.
This document is a self-help resource guide for poverty relief, but I encourage you to work cooperatively in groups as you use it. Share it with family and friends who are also looking for poverty relief and share ideas as you go. Working in groups you loved makes it so much easier, and fun!
The website is https://usefulinksblog.wordpress.com
I hope you will take a moment for yourself, and allow yourself to feel love. You will really enjoy what comes next. Don’t be distracted by anything… let the calm, cool sense of peace and love in your heart outweigh all of the chaos in your life. Only the meaning of life, the experience of love, remains. Love is the harmony of Earth, and will bring you what you need as you feel love in your heart.
I also suggest Qi Gong to help open your chakras. Opening the chakras leads to intuition and communication with your soul. Try to find a Qi Gong class, possibly at your local university. I strongly encourage it, Qi Gong leads to a deeper spirituality that is very healthy. Strong morals are also important in opening the chakras. Personally, I feel love from within, am grateful to the Creator for my life, and I forgive others (and myself!). Patience also helps, my weak point!
Now, enjoy usefulinks!
Please do not think you need to buy a whole lot of stuff on this document. In fact, only buy what you need if you can. This document is designed to help you get on your feet so that you are not vulnerable, so that you can take care of yourself easily. Once you have what you need to sustain yourself, you are not poor!
Try to avoid violence. The frustrations of poverty and prejudice can easily lead to violence and crime. Please do not do this to yourself. Your family, friends and neighborhood need to trust you. If you are violent and a criminal, they cannot trust you.
Also, please help the environment. Please recycle, and insulate your home and drive an electric car (if you are a home/car owner).
(If you are on disability or going on it, I encourage you to go to the end of the document first. In the last six or so paragraphs I cover some considerations about how to help yourself if you are homeless or going onto ssi/ssdi. After that you may want to peruse the rest of this document.)
The goods listed in this document (and in any American economy) do oppress the laborers and manufacturers in the supplying nations of the global south of the goods we enjoy, I am sorry to say, which is another reason I encourage you to be frugal. Fair trade is another alternative, but fair trade prices are usually through the roof. If you can find American made products, that is a great way to buy. Also, it is very liberating to grow your own food, and I do suggest that you garden if you can.
Some notes. This document and website are a constant work in progress. If you value this work, please save it and print it out, and share it with your friends and share it with discretion with those in need.
I am a Unitarian Universalist and a seasoned activist, and I have included information for rich and poor (gourmet recipes and ‘good and cheap’, for example) and contrary religious traditions (Christian and Wiccan, for example) and everything in between. The reason for this is because I have used much of it in my personal life or have discerned that it seems harmless… in fact, the mix of the melting pot of the variations of our America is a wonder. It really, really pays to be open-minded.
I encourage you to make a miracle happen along the way by helping as is needed, and watch the miracles happen to you when you need them. You will be amazed!
A special note. Some of the links below are not hyperlinked to websites. When this is so, please just copy the link and paste it in the address bar in a new window to bring up the website. Also, a number of websites have a entity   following the web address. When you see this, if you want this link, type (or copy/paste) only the link address in a new window URL address bar w/o the   at the end. Otherwise the website will not come up. 🙂
General Resources for the Home:
http://www.consumerreports.org (finds the top buy in a market; at most libraries)
https://www.angi.com (top tradespeople in your area; an online resource)
www.bookfinder.com (cheap books)
http://www.amazon.com (low prices and diverse items for nearly everything one can get shipped)
http://www.wayfair.com/ (see the sales)
https://gsaauctions.gov/gsaauctions/gsaauctions/ (government auctions)
Facebook Marketplace (try it before you buy it)
www.overstock.com (if you have some extra money for household goods, very nice)
http://www.greenamerica.org (green business and how to green up your business)
http://www.greenamerica.org/gbn/member-profiles (green america member profiles)
If you are a crafter you can advertise your wares at greenamerica.org. Also see https://www.etsy.com/ for advertising your crafts
https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/energy-saver (energy saver for appliances)
https://www.epa.gov/watersense (water conservation in the home)
https://www.medexpress.com (immediate medical care… go to ER only if necessary)
https://ripmedicaldebt.org (medical debt relief for most in need)
https://medlineplus.gov (health information)
Your hospital may have a ‘nurses line’, a number you can call to find out if your symptoms need doctor care, and what the health issue may be. It is free and can save a trip to the doctor. Call the front desk of your local hospital for the number.
https://singlecare.com (prescription medicine savings)
https://www.goodrx.com (prescription medicine savings)
http://www.swansonvitamins.com (cheap vitamins and supplements)
http://www.vitaminworld.com (quality and cheap vitamins and supplements)
http://www.nutritionfacts.org (food nutrition)
http://www.naturopathic.org (find a naturopath near you, and ask for a sliding scale as needed)
graviola at amazon.com (a natural cancer relief medicine, check with your doctor)
https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/coping/adjusting-to-cancer/support-groups (cancer support groups in your area)
https://extension.umass.edu/plant-identification/common/all (common and latin names of many plants for use with medicinal plants)
https://phytochem.nal.usda.gov/phytochem/search (phytochemical and ethnobotanical database, see references for remedies)
http://www.mayoclinic.org (medical info)
http://www.webmd.com (medical info)
http://www.webmd.com/first-aid/ (first aid info)
http://www.patientslikeme.com (patient network)
http://www.reneesgarden.com/blogs/gardening-resources/celebrate-the-three-sisters-corn-beans-and-squash (Native American essential garden, all you need!)
https://sharedearth.com (linking gardeners and land)
Google ‘carrots love tomatoes Mother Earth News’ (planting companion plants)
https://www.richters.com (GREAT gardening website and catalog)
Google: ‘good and cheap’ ($4 meals designed for the SNAP budget)
http://www.cooks.com (really basic cooking)
http://www.vegetariantimes.com (vegetarian recipes)
http://www.allrecipes.com (American standard fare)
http://www.epicurious.com (gourmet recipes)
https://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/water-activities/how-to-start-fishing/ (beginner website for fishing).
amazon.com honors the EBT card. If you have Amazon Prime, shipping may be for free.
You can get your license for fishing at your State Department of Wildlife Resources. Often States have a lifetime fishing license for the disabled, about $15. Ask about this at your Dept of Wildlife Resources.
If you have a disability you can get an inexpensive National Park Access Pass. This is a lifetime pass for $10, access to many national parks.
The products we buy in America are made very often under wage slavery conditions in the global south. It is grossly unfair to them, and slavery of any kind should not be tolerated. 10% of the global market is a product of slavery conditions. I am not saying that you shouldn’t buy clothes anymore, but I do suggest that you kick up a fuss with your Congresspeople (202-224-3121) about the nature of wage slavery and how big business is getting away with making billions of dollars from the servitude of the vulnerable in the developing world (google ‘race to the bottom’) in making our products. Check out www.workersrights.org Remember, you are also vulnerable, so don’t count yourself out… but we all have to stick together. Other products that are made under slavery conditions are tuna, shrimp, chocolate, cotton, gold and diamonds. Wars are fought over oil.
http://www.zennioptical.com (low priced glasses, wide variety and classy)
http://www.supercasuals.com (discount jeans and work clothes… check out the coveralls for winter; heat your body, not your whole home!)
Skechers shoes: (www.skechers.com/en-us/) (also Google Skechers and see a variety of websites for Skechers options)
Skechers run at about $65 and up with free shipping, come in wide sizes, have a vast array of styles and are a great pair of shoes. You can easily find a pair of shoes you love for $65 or so.
http://www.cheapestees.com (cheap name brand tees and long sleeve shirts, NOT fair trade or vegan)
http://www.gypsyrose.com (fair trade clothes and other hippie stuff)
http://www.ravelry.com/account/login (knitting your own clothes)
http://www.thredup.com (online consignment and thrift store)
http://www.freecycle.org (free stuff online)
http://www.bangsshoes.com (microfinance shoes)
https://en.useahimsa.com/ (pro love vegan shoes)
http://www.fairtradecertified.org (fair trade products)
http://www.allbirds.com (recycled shoes)
www.keenfootwear.com (a little pricey, but durable shoes and boots. Some wide sizes.)
http://www.wideshoes.com (great selection of wide/very wide shoes. See Hitchcock, New Balance, Dunham, Drew, Orthofeet, PW Minor, Skechers, Tundra and much much more! Men’s and Women’s.)
Walmart has great winter wool socks for only $5 a pair (wash in cold water only). Walmart is also known for its thick, white, large plastic cutting board and for its j-b weld and silicone glue (which has many uses). Walmart has great Pyrex bowls and their pharmacy section is great. They have a $3 backscratcher that I really like. Try not to buy too much at Walmart, however, as they treat their employees in China and elsewhere abysmally.
Bikes and Outdoors:
Bikes are a great mode of transportation in any event, and before you can afford a car, a great way to get around. Bicycles can help with a DUI problem, and mountain bikes are fun anyway. The following bikes are high-quality bikes at a low price. Look on the Internet for solar-powered electric bikes. They may be expensive, but less than a car or motorcycle, and pollution-free.
http://www.nashbar.com (discount bike parts) (shopping for parts from your local bicycle shop is also good for your local economy, and the quality of the parts may be better. Your choice.). To help with online maintenance, google ‘Global Cycling Network’ and see the maintenance section.
Marin Bolinas 1 (mountain bike)
Marin Bolinas 1 the wildcat (women’s mountain bike)
Trek Marlin 5 (mountain bike)
FX 2 Trek (hybrid, for urban areas)
The backpacking equipment also doubles as winter wear if you are just getting started in a new home, or if you recently lost your home. Parkas, sleeping bags, boots and the like all help with winter weather, and when better times come you have invested in things you can use anyway! A little camping gear, which doesn’t hurt.
look for deals and clearance in the following backpacking sites:
http://www.sierratradingpost.com (Sierra Trading Post catalog for backpacking)
www.campmor.com (catalog for backpacking, low cost, high value)
My friend Brad makes the wonderful point that buying from Amazon is really fueling the military, as Amazon donates heavily to the military. I do not advocate anything that supports the US military, it is fascist to support a military that rules the world. However, you may find yourself in need, and you cannot find the things you need at your local store, and you need to shop at Amazon or an International Business. If so, that is understandable. The main point at this time in history is that we need to consume less, and save more. By consuming less, we save the environment and reduce human rights violations of people around the world. So please, take what you need, and give what you can, and take care of yourself. Buy local as you are able.
Look in Amazon.com for winter gear: dome tent, gore-tex bivy sack, gore-tex pants, zero degree sleeping bag, hiking backpack, Sorel boots (women and men), winter parka (women and men), puff jacket (women and men, very warm at low cost), merino wool blend socks. Try googling your word search with ‘best buy’ in front and see if you can generate a list of choices that fall in your price range, and then search in Amazon for the product. You can use that method for almost any item you buy on this page. It is also wise to ask an Amazon agent to help you shop, as they can research effectively.
amazon.com has great customer service and return policy, and with AmazonPrime, free shipping on many products. Another great advantage to Amazon is that many competing products are under one roof, which makes it easier to find what you want at a good price. And lastly, if your house floods or burns in a fire, all of your Amazon purchases are recorded online. Your renter or homeowner insurance may be able to pay for those items destroyed in a catastrophe. As you can tell, I am a big fan of Amazon, minus their role with the military. Please write them a letter about your dissatisfaction about this if you also feel so moved. We don’t need the best military in the world, we need to be the best neighbor in the world and work hard for world peace.
Here are some other Amazon finds that you may enjoy (as mentioned earlier). (With all of these categories, google ‘best buy’ for each item as well, and see what you get). Enter the following ASIN characters (use all caps, or just copy/paste) in the Amazon search engine as you are interested. ASIN numbers change over time and become obsolete. Use the title of the item to search what you are looking for if the ASIN number does not work:
Starks Premium Washable Face Mask ASIN # B08GY3RS6K
Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser Liquid (26 oz – English/Spanish) – Multipurpose Cleaner & Rust Stain Remover for Stainless Steel, Porcelain, Ceramic Tile, Copper, Brass, and More (4). ASIN # B07JDWTKYX
Burt’s Bees for Dogs Natural Calming Shampoo. ASIN # B00CEY5K64
Brita 35557 Replacement Filters for Pitchers and Dispensers, 6 Count. ASIN # B00008IHL8
EnviroCare Duster Replacments for Swiffer Unscented Dusters (32 Pack). ASIN # B07D195K35
RunningSnail Emergency Hand Crank Self Powered AM/FM NOAA Solar Weather Radio with LED ASIN # B01MFCFKG5
Houseday Patriot Flashlight Solar Powered USB Battery Rechargeable 2000mah 1000 Lumens Bright LED Car Tactical Solar Flashlight for Outdoor Hiking Camping ASIN # B087YTFC2F
Eneloop rechargeable batteries (said to be very high quality, a variety of sizes) ASIN # B00JHKSN5I
ADDTOP Solar Charger 25000mAh Huge Capacity Solar Power Bank with Dual 5V/ 2.1A Outputs High-Speed & 4 Solar Panels, Portable Battery Phone Charger for Smartphones Tablets, Outdoor Rainproof ASIN # B07FPHHNDL
410 Minutes of U.S. Domestic Calling & Lowest International Calling Rates, Phone Card Never Expires, No Payphone Fee. ASIN # B091J9HCD9
$200 Visa Gift Card (plus $6.95 Purchase Fee) ASIN # B07HJD9FVV
Titanker Fabric Shower Curtain Liner, White Shower Curtain Liner with 2 Magnets, Waterproof Polyester Shower Curtains Bathroom 85GSM Shower Curtain Liners, Machine Washable, 70 x 72 Inches ASIN # B089R53MN5
OXO good grips smooth edge can opener (a little pricey, but you can use the tops as lids which saves ASIN # B000079XW2
Bare Home Super Soft Fleece Sheet Set – Full Size – Extra Plush Polar Fleece, Pill-Resistant Bed Sheets – All Season Cozy Warmth, Breathable & Hypoallergenic (Full, Grey) ASIN # B01NCIDYLA
ALPS Mountaineering Crescent Lake 0-Degree Sleeping Bag ASIN # B00G6HTG2E
Eddie Bauer Men’s CirrusLite Down Jacket ASIN # B077GDNNWF
Feetmat Mens Athletic Shoes Casual Knit Slip Resistant Fashion Sneakers for Boy Black 11 ASIN # B07BSF14V4
Falari 12 Pairs Thermal Socks Winter Ultra Warm Boot Socks ASIN # B00RZI08SE
Sawyer Products MINI Water Filtration System ASIN # B00TOX6UM6
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking, Camping, Travel, and Emergency Preparedness ASIN # B087F3YZCZ
TubRing the Ultimate Tub Drain Protector Hair Catcher/Strainer/Snare, Regular ASIN # B07YL9TWG2
MEEPHONG Handheld Game Console (great inexpensive “gameboy” clone, no TV needed) ASIN # B07TW45BF6
Sega Genesis Classic Game Console-Sega Gear ASIN # B06XWBY3YP (great games, needs a TV)
Kiss My Face organic suntan lotion, SPF 50 ASIN # B00FTCBFVC
computer paper, see recycled Hammermill paper at ASIN # B00006L380.
See other parts of this document for outdoor and winter gear such as boots, gloves and backpacks.
Now that you are looking at Amazon for special items I want to bring up Lily’s TV Items:
See also Bulb Head:
Construction and Alternative Energy:
http://www.tauntonstore.com (construction books; these books can help you get a good job if you are a seasoned construction worker)
https://www.mhprofessional.com/college/career-education-trades-and-technology (publisher of trade books on many trades and higher ed)
http://www.flexsealproducts.com (see all flex products, scroll down; glue, seal, tape)
http://www.earthship.com (eco friendly building)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hempcrete (building with hempcrete)
http://www.scoraigwind.com (wind generators)
https://www.partselect.com/Repair/ (how to fix a broken appliance)
http://www.wholesalesolar.com (solar panels)
http://www.altestore.com/store/ (solar panels)
https://enphase.com (solar panel micro inverter)
http://www.morningstarcorp.com (solar panel inverter)
http://www.sma-america.com (solar panel inverter)
http://www.fronius.com/cps/rde/xchg/fronius_usa (solar panel inverter)
http://www.solaredge.com/us (solar panel inverter)
http://solar.schneider-electric.com (solar panel inverter)
http://www.outbackpower.com (solar panel inverter)
http://www.midnitesolar.com (solar panel inverter)
http://www.trojanbattery.com (battery often needed for solar power)
http://energy.gov/energysaver/solar-water-heaters (solar hot water heaters)
http://www.nabcep.org/certified-installer-locator (find a solar installer)
http://www.arcadiapower.com (pay for a wind/solar farm while staying on the grid! Call them for details. Great for renters.)
YouTube: small scale methane digester
http://www.homepower.com (small-scale renewable energy. Great for living off the land. Now archives.)
http://www.lowtechmagazine.com (all kinds of low technology ideas)
Another idea is to get a solar panel just for your hot water heater. The solar panel doesn’t cost much, but hot water is a huge amount of the electric bill in the house. This is said to be a very cost efficient move in the solar industry.
www.textnow.com (Internet phone for free!)
https://www.skype.com/en/ (Internet phone for $60 per year)
See at Amazon: $50 for Fire 7 Tablet with Alexa, 7” Display, 8 GB, Black – with Special Offers ASIN # B01GEW27DA (and see the updated version) You may also want an SD card for more memory, up to 256 GB. You can get free Internet in a local cafe, library or restaurant, which would save on the $70 or so monthly fee for Internet. You can also stack usb ports in the power slot and have a printer, keyboard, CD ROM, chargers for your bike lights, etc. This is a great alternative for the desktop, probably even better than the iPad Mini, below. Fire 7 has office products, can upload skype, lyft, games, videos, etc. Fire 7 is great for the short run, if you are trying to get your feet on the ground and you need a cheap tablet. Check them all (iPad, desktop, Fire 7) out, see what fits you best. Check out this Fire 7 case at ASIN # B07236C6WR Lifespan of Fire 7 is about 1.5-2 years or more, I am told.
Comcast has a program called ‘Internet Essentials’ that is for the disabled. Internet service for $9.95/mo. You will need a letter from your physician or psychiatrist stating that you are disabled, and have a Medicaid or SNAP card.
See at Best Buy, Apple iPad Mini 4 128 Gig (see the updated version):
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/apple-ipad-mini-4-wi-fi-128gb-space-gray/4265700.p?skuId=4265700 (may be all you need… all the functions of a desktop at 1/4 the price, all the memory, and a liquid won’t spill on the keyboard like a laptop. Also note it is at Best Buy. You can add a usb hub to the lightning connector, and chrome cast to an HDMI TV or monitor for better visuals. At the fraction of the cost of a desktop, and it is portable. Contact Apple and Best Buy and see if this would work for you. It also has iWork Pages as a word processor. If you aren’t going to be using a lot of graphics, just basic use of the computer (email, web browsing, iTunes, word processing), this may be a high value, low cost way to go for you. You will have to replace the iPad Mini every two-four years or so.
If you have the cash, Mac products are the way to go for all the bells and whistles. Plus they last about 7 years. But they are expensive, running into $1000 or more. Used and refurbished are options, see below.
http://www.apple.com/shop/browse/home/specialdeals (refurbished and special deals through Apple/ Macs)
http://www.macofalltrades.com (buy and sell used macs)
http://www.macmall.com (mac computer accessories)
http://www.everymac.com (mac aid)
http://www.opensourcemac.org (mac aid)
http://www.lowendmac.com (mac aid)
https://archive.org/index.php (wayback machine, review old copies of websites)
http://distrowatch.com/ (webzine, deluxe)
https://sourceforge.net/ (free open source software)
https://wordpress.com/create/ (make your own website)
https://www.zipcar.com (zip rental car)
http://www.uber.com (uber taxi… read the reviews first! People have complained of credit card theft. Alternatively, you can get a job as a driver if you are interested, do some easy moonlighting on your schedule.)
http://www.lyft.com (same as uber, see if it is in your area)
https://www.kayak.com (cheap travel packages)
https://www.kayak.com/explore (kayak deals)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keFaPcp_E6o (blue driver video)
http://www.bluedriver.com (iPhone/Android used to scan your vehicle)
cooperative companies: https://www.eatwith.com (cooking), https://www.kitchensurfing.com (cooking), http://www.handy.com (all home needs). Check and see if any of these are in your area. See also craigslist.org in your area for jobs and http://www.glassdoor.com (glassdoor, a very comprehensive guide for finding a good job in your area)
Starting a democratically organized cooperative business such as a bakery or other company is a very wise business choice. It gives power of the direction and finances of the business to all of the members of the company, including laborers. Look up on the web about how to start a democratic cooperative. Mondragon Cooperative in Spain is the most successful democratic cooperative in the world, and they have many books, they are worth researching to avoid reinventing the wheel. But there are websites on how to start a democratic cooperative here in the US. Here is an example: https://institute.coop/startup
http://www.financialsamurai.com/examples-of-good-resumes/ (write your own resume)
Community college education can help avoid massive student loans. What a lot of people are doing these days is getting their first two years of college at a community college learning skills and basic background for their major, and then going to the local state school near them to finish college.
There are three major factors in a college or trade school education. a) finding an education that you like, b) being skilled at what you love to do and c) avoiding student loans as much as possible. The community and state colleges have guidance counselors and financial counselors that can help you make that wise decision.
You may have to work part time to get through school. Try to work jobs that will train you in work you like to do, and work that is compatible with your intended major. How to find a major? College is fascinating, an opportunity to skill yourself in what you truly love to do.
Find a liberal art or other college degree program that interests you. Ask a professor in the department to look at the freshman, etc syllabus. The syllabus is the list of books you would read that semester if you took that class. By reading the syllabi of different departments, you can find what interests you. Again, I encourage you to always a) do what you love to do and b) make sure you are skilled in a way that supports you and your family, and avoid debt.
Try googling ‘trade school near me’, ’community college near me’ and ‘state university near me’. Take a look at local colleges where you would like to live, and see if they have programs you like, at a price you can afford. It is a good idea to go to college near family and friends, because you will have help in supporting yourself where you grew up. It is also wise to go to college where you want to work, if you know that already.
Seattle, Washington is a great place to find education, work and recreate (five biomes nearby, music, counter culture, etc); it is easy to get started there. Also, the minimum wage there is $15 per hour!
If you are looking for scholarships for college, go to your local college guidance and career office (unless you are in high school, in which case you would use your own guidance office) and ask if you can look at their files to find scholarships. They are very well organized and can help you quickly find what scholarships match your background. Be honest, and put your best foot forward with your credentials. Bring a pad and paper with you. They will give you a list of things to do and people to call to get started. Don’t forget to thank them! You will be back soon and need their help.
On a personal note, I would like to share my feelings about the market. The profit motive has made the job market in making profit a kind of capitalist/socialism. What I mean by that is that most jobs in the market are designed to help in a very finite way. The want ads are for CPA’s, nurses, construction workers, and other basic things in the market. Rarely, if ever, will you find a job from the paper that thrills you to be alive. You can make money, for sure, but at what cost to fulfilling your life?
The market is this way because of the profit motive, and what the consumer market will bear. This means that the businesses are trying to make a profit on goods and services that most people need and some of what they want. This is the same as socialism, although a circus ride version.
I think that people should be paid for a) doing what they love to do, b) at the greatest good for the consumer, and c) in harmony with nature. Wages should be commensurate with the ability of the worker to fulfill and exceed these goals. Native people would say to do away with the market altogether… hunting and gathering keeps you in harmony with God and community. Both are valid hopes for our future.
https://www.biggerbooks.com (used textbooks)
https://clementecourse.org (teaches college level humanities for those in economic distress)
www.elearners.com (online courses; credit, but you have to pay tuition)
www.overdrive.com (online library books)
http://www.hoopladigital.com (library ebooks, etc)
https://www.mheducation.com (text books, etc for standard education)
http://www.khanacademy.org (great educational resource)
https://www.petersons.com (Peterson’s colleges online)
http://www.nationalliteracydirectory.org (National Literacy Directory)
http://www.gracesigns.org/post/how-to-learn-sign-language (learning sign language)
http://www.edx.org/learn/esl-english-as-a-second-language (English as a second language)
http://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/?showDate=2015-05-08 (NPR Ted Radio Hour)
http://www.nae.edu (National Academy of Engineering… for a sustainable world)
no credit educational opportunities:
http://www.coursera.org (free online courses/no credit)
http://www.edx.org (free online courses/no credit)
http://www.udacity.com (free online courses/no credit)
http://www.mooc-list.com (I had trouble with this website, but it is a huge list of free online courses/no credit)
https://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm (MIT open courseware/not sure about credit)
http://www.gresham.ac.uk/ (free online courses, copy and paste(I don’t this this offers credit))
I have lived in poverty all over the United States, and I think the easiest, nicest place to be poor is in a college town that has a market center near by. College towns have services for students (who are poor and smart) that you can benefit from such as the local YMCA gift shops, farmers markets, great music, athletic games, and great yard sales. They have abundant buffet restaurants. The businesses and non-profits are catered to the thousands of poor students in the area. Often these towns are more progressive and thus have better mental health organizations and other programs for the poor. If you are disabled or chronically poor for any reason, gravitate to a favorite college town (if you don’t have a better plan), preferably one that is near family that can help you.
This is a fairly radical idea, but it might be useful. Your late teens and twenties can be very stressful as you are trying to learn skills, find a spouse, find a good job, buy a house, keep friendships, etc. You might consider finding a few friends that you have a lot in common with and share some of your wealth, like a tax in common for stressful periods. You can also share workshops on skills you have learned in various areas, everything from raising a toddler to working on a computer to fixing a bike to car repair. Anything at all. It is so helpful to work together! And friendship makes a huge difference. In your twenties I strongly recommend this loosely communal experience. There is so much to learn, and it is so helpful to learn it with a margarita in your hand and a friend at your back. You don’t all have to live in the same house, but take care of one another, it makes such a difference.
Music, News and Entertainment:
http://www.apple.com/itunes/ (music that lasts longer than a CD)
http://www.allmusic.com (discography five star album ratings; a great way to explore new music)
https://www.discogs.com (music database and marketplace)
https://www.spotify.com/us/free/ (great for finding new music)
https://www.fender.com/online-guitar-tuner/acoustic-guitar-tuning/ (acoustic guitar tuner)
www.sheetmusicplus.com (world’s largest sheet music collection. Also, download mp3s to hear songs, not just read music, to follow chord progression. Use ‘advanced search’ to do this.)
http://www.roku.com (inexpensive tv programming, better than buying cable)
https://www.ap.org/en-us/ (Associated Press, free good news)
http://www.freespeech.org (leftist news programs 24/7)
http://www.democracynow.org (leftist news hour)
https://www.activistpost.com (alternative and independent news)
https://www.activistpost.com/resources (great news resources)
http://www.commondreams.org (leftist online news)
https://www.binnews.com (black information network)
http://blackagendaradio.podbean.com (African American radio)
http://www.nv1.org (Native Voice One)
http://www.stellarium.org (stargazing via the computer)
Netflix streaming is fun at only $8/mo. Family members and friends can share up to 3 accounts for free with Netflix. Ask Netflix about that.
Amazon Prime is about $135/yr and you get free shipping on many shopping items as well as free movies, making it an advantage over Netflix
Amazon Prime is now discounted ($6.99/mo) for people with disabilities as long as you have a current Medicaid or EBT card:
Also, if you are a student, ask amazon.com about their student package for Amazon Prime. There is a 6 month free trial, then $59/year or $6.49/mo. You will need to demonstrate your email address, courses you are taking, and a student ID. You can get it for 4 years or until you graduate.
Law, Unions, Political Organizing and Charity:
https://debtcollective.org (debt relief)
http://vlas.org (VA tenant’s rights and legal aid … Google tenant’s rights in your State, as well as legal aid)
http://www.centeronconscience.org (conscientious objector status)
http://www.nlg.org (human rights lawyers for US abuses such as minority or immigrant rights)
http://www.law.cornell.edu/ (public access to the law)
http://www.findlaw.com/ (public access to the law)
http://www.aclu.org (civil liberties, add your own State abbreviation)
http://www.nolo.com (also see the State legal bar website, as well as the county courthouse library, and ask for help from the librarian)
http://www.narf.org (Native American defense of Indian Tribes, organizations, etc)
http://www.nativeweb.org/resources/events_powwows_activism/native_activism/ (Native American resources)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Native_American_rights_organizations (Native American rights organizations)
https://unitehere.org (union organizing)
http://www.ufw.org (united farm workers. Network with them as needed.)
http://www.ueunion.org (very progressive union, united electric. Network with them.)
http://www.aflcio.org (America’s largest union, network with them about unions)
Google your union according to your trade and organize!
https://blacklivesmatter.com (Black Lives Matter)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:African_Americans%27_rights_organizations (African-American rights organizations)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Women%27s_rights_organizations (Women’s rights organizations)
https://workingfamilies.org (Working Families Party)
http://www.bsr.org (working for a just and sustainable workplace)
http://www.iccr.org (working toward a just workplace)
https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org (Poor People’s Campaign)
https://www.gp.org (Green Party)
https://www.democratsforlife.org (Democrats for Life)
https://www.dsausa.org (Democratic Socialists of America)
http://www.internationalanswer.org (International Answer Coalition)
https://www.veteransforpeace.org (Veterans for Peace)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_environmental_organizations (environmental organizations international)
if possible it is a good idea to get renters insurance, not so much to protect your valuables, but rather if a disaster happens and you are implicated in any way. An example would be a fire, or plumbing bursting in the winter, etc. in which cases thousands of dollars worth of damage would be covered under renters insurance, usually costing about $100 or so per year. See State Farm Insurance, for example.
http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/index.htm (internet Sacred Text Archive)
http://www.biblestudytools.com (Bible concordance)
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/eb.htm (English Bibles)
http://www.ghazali.org/site/ihya.htm (Sufi faith (Islam): al-Ghazali)
http://www.bahai.org (Bahai faith)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzD4svzG9js (Qi Gong, a great way to find Spirit within and the chakras)
http://www.asitis.com/ (Bhagavad Gita (Hinduism / ISKCON))
http://www.sacred-texts.com/afr/index.htm (African Religions)
http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/index.htm (Native American Religions)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CfyNFG1lMs (how to build a sweatlodge… but take your time!)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmpiqxHRrzs&list=PLTfNq8hmQ0fi_Y6PxXI1bTYHEL0ygm8Qs (Wiccan Goddess chant)
http://www.asatru.org/ (Asatru (Germanic Paganism))
http://www.runestone.org/ (Asatru (Germanic Paganism))
http://www.ravenkindred.com/ (Asatru (Germanic Paganism))
http://www.nature.org (environmental standards)
http://www.conservation.org (conservation international)
http://350.org (top global climate movement)
http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/ (join for a higher environmental standard)
http://www.sierraclub.org (Sierra Club)
http://www.nrdc.org (Natural Resources Defense Council)
http://www.ran.org (Rainforest Action Network)
Leatherman tools are great to have around. www.leatherman.com Even better are SOG tools, www.sogknives.com SOG come with a lifetime warranty and are top of the line in multi-tools, worth a little extra money.
If you like a title below, enter it in Amazon.com and look at the reviews, and see if it seems to match your expectations.
Try to get your library to order the books you are interested in if they are not already in the stacks, they may want it in their collection. This is a free service.
Otherwise, you may be able to get your book at:
Book Finder (your best bet, just plug in the ISBN in Book Finder … ISBN found at the middle of the Amazon.com webpage of the book title) (then see http://www.bookfinder.com)
Abe Books (www.abebooks.com)
or via inter library loan at a small fee like $3…
although Amazon.com used books can cost as little as $4 with shipping
http://www.strandbooks.com (old, rare and hard to find books)
You can also find books at Internet Archive (listed previously in this document as the wayback machine, see edit>find https://archive.org), and ebooks to ‘borrow’ through your local library via Hoopla (mentioned before), RB Digital and Overdrive (there may be more like these). Audiobooks are also available through the library ebook system to ‘borrow’. You can access all of this via a $50 Kindle Fire 7 and McDonalds, or neighbor’s, wifi.
The Parents Tao Te Ching by Martin (child raising)
Blessing of a Skinned Knee by Mogel
1-2-3 Magic: 3-Step Discipline for Calm, Effective, and Happy Parenting by Phelan
Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World by Glenn and Nelsen
Escaping the Endless Adolescence by Allen and Allen
See also the Headstart program in your area.
Self-Help and Vision:
The Miracle Morning by Elrod
Callings by Levoy (vocational and self-discovery guide)
The Way of the Shaman by Harner
PlantNet app on your mobile phone (identify plants, and then google the name for edible/medicinal). See also: iNaturalist (identifying plants and animals), PlantSnap, Agrobase (for farming also), and Plantix. See also Google Lens app for identifying anything… a very useful tool for your mobile phone. When harvesting plants in the wild it is mandated by Native Americans that you a) pray to God to allow the privilege of harvest and b) only take at most 1/5 of the species you are harvesting in a given area. You want to keep the plant population healthy, and the plants will keep you healthy!
The Hopi Survival Kit by Mails (survival book)
Native American Crafts and Skills by Montgomery (survival book)
Camping and Wilderness Survival by Tawrell (survival book)
The Backpacker’s Field Manual by Curtis (survival book)
SAS Survival Guide (pocket edition) by Wiseman (a pocket book on survival)
When All Hell Breaks Loose by Lundin (survival in the ‘burbs)
How to Eat in the Woods by Angier and Young (guide for wilderness foraging, trapping, fishing, etc)
The Foxfire Book and the Foxfire series of books, by Wigginton
Medicinal Plants and Herbs by Foster and Duke (foraging/medicinal guide, see the western or eastern/central version… please only forage no more than 1/3 of a given area of a species of plant)
A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants by Peterson and Peterson
Find a good filtration bottle on Amazon.com for $30 such as: Sawyer Mini Water Filter or Sawyer Straw Filter (purports to filter almost all bacterial and viral pathogens, even cholera, typhoid and dysentery)
Mental Health (most books recommended by professional psychologists):
Surviving Schizophrenia by Torrey
Surviving Manic Depression by Torrey
The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide, Second Edition by Miklowitz
Understanding Schizophrenia: A Practical Guide for Patients, Families and Health Care Professionals by Reddy and Keshavan (both MD’s) (schizophrenia)
The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself From Chronic Unhappiness by Williams, Teasdale, Segal and Kabat-Zinn (depression)
Feeling Good by Burns (on recovery from depression)
Overcoming Trauma and PTSD: A Workbook Integrating Skills from ACT, DBT, and CBT Paperback by Raja (PTSD)
Understanding Mental Disorders: Your Guide to DSM-5® 1st Edition by American Psychiatric Association (guide to one’s personal mental illness)
A Conscious Person’s Guide to Relationships by Keyes, Jr.
A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook by Stahl and Goldstein (stress relief)
I Hate You – Don’t Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality by Kreisman and Straus (mental health)
The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation & Tolerance by MCKay, Wood and Brantley (mental health)
The Anxiety and Worry Workbook: The Cognitive Behavioral Solution Paperback by David Clark, Ph.D and Aaron Beck, MD (anxiety)
Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar – Your Brain’s Silent Killers Hardcover by David Perlmutter (sugar/grain and mental health)
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk MD (mental health and holistic healing)
Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Balch and Balch (herbal remedies, very specific)
Our Bodies, Ourselves by Boston Women’s Health Book Collective
The Massage Book by Downing
Food and Garden:
Joy of Cooking by Rombauer and Becker
Cook Like a Pro by Garten (see the series by Ina Garten)
All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition by Bartholomew
The New Organic Grower by Coleman
What is Biodynamics? A Way to Heal and Revitalize the Earth by Steiner and Courtney (this will appeal to indigenous and organic farmers)
Hydroponics and Greenhouse Gardening: 3-in-1 Gardening Book to Grow Vegetables, Herbs and Fruit All-Year-Round by Bray
The Rodale Book of Composting by Gershuny et al
Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving by Kingry and Devine
Survival in the 21st Century by Kulvinskas
Biking and Transportation:
Zinn & the Art of Road Bike Maintenance by Zinn
Zinn & the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance by Zinn
Bicycle Repair by van der Plas
Auto Fundamentals: How and Why to the Design, Construction, and Operation of Automobiles: Applicable to all Makes and Models by Stockel and Johanson (extensive shop class guide of pre-computer chip cars)
How Cars Work by Tom Newton (basic guide)
The New Way Things Work by Macaulay (fun basics in mechanical engineering)
Building Green, New Edition by Clarke Snell and Tim Callahan
Self Sufficiency for the 21st Century, Revised and Updated by Dick and James Strawbridge
More Other Homes and Garbage: Designs for Self-Sufficient Living by Leckie et al
Cabins by Stiles and Stiles
The Natural House by Chiras (alternative building, gateway book for natural building)
The Cob Builders Handbook by Becky Bee
The Hand-Sculpted House by Evans and Smith (Cob building, a top alternative design)
The New Create an Oasis with Greywater by Ludwig
(do searches for low water use sinks, filters and ‘recycling shower loop’)
Modern Carpentry by Wagner and Smith (master book on carpentry)
Homebrew Windpower by Bartmann (how to make your own wind generator; beware of flying magnets!)
Solar Electricity Handbook by Boxwell
Build Your Own Solar Panel by Hurley
Solar Living Sourcebook by Schaeffer (gateway book for renewable energy and building)
(see also books on ‘hempcrete’, make use of cedar for roofing to filter water for rainwater harvesting, and salvage recycled steel when possible.)
The Humanure Handbook by Jenkins (I did not read or get a recommendation for this book, but it got rave reviews at Amazon. Try to get this one through the library)
The combination of the Tiny House design (for an inexpensive design that can house all of the ‘goodies’ of good living in an affordable space) with the Yurt (which is a great design for spacious, inexpensive living)… can be the best of both worlds of inexpensive living. You can have all your goodies in your Tiny House and enjoy them in your spacious Yurt which you build and connect to your Tiny House. Your Tiny House is then your den/power center/kitchen/storage area and your Yurt is your living room/entertainment center/game room/dance area/television area. All under $25K potentially, depending on how well you ‘soup it up’! The Tiny House should cost around $15K to build, and the Yurt around $5K (as a rough estimate, don’t quote me!). This is an idea in my mind, I have not seen this done, but I think it would work well. Do Google and YouTube searches on Tiny House and Yurt construction and see what you can find.
Tiny House Design & Construction Guide by Louche (picked by Amazon reviews)
The Complete Yurt Handbook by King (picked by Amazon reviews)
Multiple Intelligences by Gardner (for teachers and students on learning)
Curriculum of Love by Daleo and Riccio (for children)
The End of the Rainbow by Engel (for children)
Have Fun. Learn Stuff. Grow by Albert (for children)
Truth is a Bright Star: A Hopi Adventure by Price (a Hopi morality story for children)
Educating for Wisdom and Compassion by Miller (for all ages 12 and above I surmise)
Coop Made in USA by Enrico Massetti (see YouTube and Google ‘forming a worker coop’. Coops are a vital answer to the diabolical hardship of capitalism and worker/homeless poverty, creating democracy and part ownership by and for the worker, in cooperation with the worker, consumer and community)
Upgrading and Repairing PCs by Mueller
Linux for Beginners by Cannon (Linux is free open source ware that is virus free and does not cost anything for software)
How Linux Works by Ward (advanced Linux)
One Skein Wonders by Durant (knitting)
Yarnitecture: A Knitter’s Guide to Spinning by Moreno
Spinning in the Old Way by Gibson-Roberts
Start Spinning by Casey
Respect the Spindle by Franquemonmt
The Field Guide to Fleece by Ekarius
Weaving Sourcebook by Regensteiner
Wild and Weedy Apothecary by Shababy
The Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook by Green
Herbal books by Rosemary Gladstar
Art and Writing:
The Artist’s Way by Cameron
Writing Down the Bones by Goldberg (writing skills)
The Writers Portable Mentor by Long (writing skills)
Writing Alone and with Others by Schneider and Elbow (writing skills)
Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual by Poynter
Games for Actors and Non-Actors by Boal (theater games)
Nonviolent Communication by Rosenberg (for mediating)
Abbie Hoffman American Rebel by Marty Jezer (a biography of Abbie Hoffman, a hippie revolutionary)
Revolution for the Hell of It by Abbie Hoffman (the life of a revolutionary)
Organizing to Win by Bronfenbrenner and Friedman (union organizing)
No Short Cuts by McAlevey (union organizing and political organizing)
Organizing for Social Change 4th ed by Bobo, Kendall and Max (for political organizing)
Doing Democracy by Moyer
All Our Relations by LaDuke (Native American organizing)
Tools for Grassroots Activists: Best Practices for Success in the Environmental Movement by Gallagher and Myers (eds) (I have not read this book and it did not come recommended, but the reviews were good at Amazon. Check this one out from your local library)
Google your peace and justice center in your state and organize! Also, there is probably a United Way near you that can help with non-profit kinds of projects, and partner with non-profits. They might be able to give a local non-profit computers to give away and other hardware.
Wheels of Life by Judith (book on the chakras, spirituality)
Spiral Dance by Starhawk (good witchcraft)
The Sacred Tree by Bopp (Native American philosophy)
The Secret Teachings of Plants by Buhner (Nat Am spirituality)
Animal Speak by Andrews (Nat Am spirituality)
Indian Medicine Power by Steiger (Nat Am spirituality)
Earthway by Summer Rain (Nat Am Medicine, etc)
The Book of the Hopi by Waters (Nat Am philosophy)
Purification of the Heart by Hamza Yusuf (Islamic spirituality)
Bending Reality by Kelman (the channeling of Sir Garrod and unconditional love)
Hands of Light by Brennan (healing of the chakra system)
The Dammapada and Upanishads by Easwaran (Buddhist/Indian philosophy respectively)
The Power of Myth by Moyers
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Tufte (visually enlightening)
Spider Speculations by Jo Carson (spiritual)
Summa Theologica by Aquinas (Christian theology)
A Brief History of Time by Hawking (science on the mysteries)
The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jacobs (urban planning)
Independent Life: Homes and Neighborhoods for Aging America by Cisneros (urban planning)
Cultural Atlas of China by Blundenand Elvin
The Ultimate Guide to Chinese Tea by Hinsch
The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Herer and Cabarga (a case against marijuana prohibition)
The Complete Homebrew Beer Book by Hummel (great book on seemingly limitless variety of home brewing beer)
There is a fun game called Apples to Apples. Very creative and usually more funny than competitive, a great party game or fun for just a few friends.
More on buying products, how to get free things, and speaking up for the poor in the global south:
When you find yourself buying the same item on the market over and over again, see if there is a coupon for it online somewhere by googling ‘coupon’ and then the brand name of the item. The savings adds up over time. And when you grocery shop, often the store brand of the product is a lot cheaper than the commercial brand, for the same product. Check the ingredients, and compare the price… for common items like tomato sauce, you may never get commercial tomato sauce again. Also, you can find a great savings in many products by going to the pawn shop. I know this is obvious to most, but pawn shops are really great for CD’s, DVD’s and games… as long as they are in working order.
Barkeeper’s Friend (liquid, not powder) does a great job on tough tub and sink grime, which is at Target for under $3 for a 26 oz bottle. (Britta water filters can also be found in a generic brand in bulk at Target.) Dawn liquid dish soap is powerful in cutting oil and grease in any capacity… kitchen, laundry, car engine, you name it! LA’s Totally Awesome is good for cleaning stains on clothes. At the Dollar Store you can find Totally Awesome Pre-Wash. Pre-Wash is good for stains on clothes, although it is full of chemicals that are probably bad for the environment. I have found that if Pre-Wash doesn’t get a stain out the first time, even if it goes through the dryer, I can spray the spot again with Pre-Wash, rub it in, wait a minute and wash it again and the stain might come out. For getting out stains it is best to get the stain remover on the stain immediately, and wash the item right away if possible. For regular wash I use Biokleen from the co-op or Amazon.com. It is environmentally friendly.
I also like to use Simple Green, which is biodegradable, for cleaning sinks, countertops and floors. It is inexpensive at Kroger or Lowes. Remember to dilute Simple Green in a 1:10 water ratio. Also at Lowes are Danco Water Saving Aerators. Danco will help your water bill.
Milwaukee power tools seem to be a good buy, as is Makita. DeWalt has more power and the batteries last longer, but the Makita is lighter and more comfortable to use, and therefore you will find it easier to do better work. Buy tools from big box stores with a warranty if you can. Snap-On, Craftsman or Mac tools are great hand tools for professionals.
Panasonic Lumix is said to be a good buy for a camera. I have one and I like it a lot.
On cars. Motor vehicles are among the primary factors in global climate change. Even if we were to stop adding carbon dioxide today, all of it (cars, factories, home heating/cooling), climate change as it is now will not change. We are habitually destroying the climate of the Earth permanently.
Volkswagen is a great car (GTI, Golf, etc). Hondas are also great cars, but don’t have the reputation they had 30 years ago of lasting forever. Nonetheless, they are great cars; try Accord, Civic and Fit. 2008 was a bad year for Accord (https://www.carcomplaints.com/Honda/Accord/2008/). Toyotas are also good cars, although I don’t know models that are good choices. For all three, see Consumer Reports online or at your local library. For the basic value of the car, see the Kelley Blue Book, www.kbb.com. See also Carfax, http://www.carfax.com.
See also Edmunds, Autotrader, cars.com and Carmax for auto searches:
If you can find a running car that does not have a computer chip, Haynes manuals can be useful to help repair them, if you like to work on cars. See also Chilton online, what a powerful tool for car repair: http://www.chiltondiy.com
If you like working your car you can get parts for a used (pre-computer chip) car at a car junkyard. Be very careful that the part is the right part, and it is still functional before you pay for it.
You can use YouTube to help with car repair, although that is a little risky, use common sense and extreme caution and multiple searches with YouTube.
Please use public transportation such as bus, subway, train, uber, lyft, carpool, bicycling, jogging and walking as much as possible to slow climate change. I wince every time I see only one person in a car and think of flooding and famine in the rest of the world due to climate change. Please carpool as much as possible, cars are a major contributor to global climate change. Having only one person in a car is a luxury our global environment cannot afford.
Africa suffers the most from climate change, and Africa has the globe’s smallest carbon emissions. Africa is the home of civilization, and they need your help. Please drive a car as little as possible snd carpool, slowing climate change.
Also, trucks with a camper are more versatile than cars. Toyota trucks are a great choice to do whatever you need to do.
Try YouTubing: biosand filtration, pot in pot (zeer) refrigeration, solar tyre cooker, rooftop rainwater harvesting and drip irrigation, the windowfarms project, homemade ram pump. Also see: adobe, cob, straw bale building, hempcrete and Earthship; as well as five system gray water and composting toilet. Good, sustainable building projects. You should also be able to YouTube bicycle repair, and a great sport, Ultimate Frisbee. All of this is great for living close to the Earth and for survival if the electrical grid fails.
If you are new to gardening, you should know about compost. Compost is a collection of nutrients that you can put on the garden when you till it in the Spring. Compost is usually one part vegetable matter (NO meat) from your kitchen, one part leaves, one part soil one part manure… especially goat or chicken manure, some earthworms and really small (like 1 cup per 10 gallons of compost) amount of campfire ash (you be the judge, you don’t want the chemicals in the ash to burn the plants you are about to fertilize). Compost needs to be turned occasionally with a pitchfork so that the bacteria can break it down. There are large tumblers now that you can find in gardening magazines and places like Lowes that make it easy to compost. In the fall or winter put one part of cow manure on the garden and work it in with a trowel. Also, you can food process cayenne pepper, garlic and/or marigold in a water spray to repel insects. Check these homemade sprays out on the Internet.
Compost heats to 180 deg F in the center, where the bacteria eat and digest the vegetable matter. You can run a coil of polyethylene pipe with water in it in the center of the compost (if you want to arrange it that way somehow), and the compost will heat the water. It is a great way to get hot water in a remote area. Just make sure there are no seams or ends in the coil that are in the compost area. Another way to get hot water in remote areas is with a solar shower (google it).
Now, this makes a great raised bed/window box garden: First, drill holes in the bottom of your plastic storage bins so that water can get out of them. 16 holes per 2X4 bin is fine. Put the bins on one layer of four cinder block, in a place that will remain the window garden. Put in a layer of gravel, 3 inches high. Put in a layer of leaves and straw to the desired height of the raised bed. You will need a section for sandy soil, as some plants require sandy soil. Make 2-4 quarts of sandy soil. Then, one part: compost, topsoil. ¼ part: chicken manure, vermiculite, and some earthworms. Mix it all up, you have a raised bed or window garden. In the winter, mix in one part of cow manure. These bins are an advantage in that you probably won’t have to weed, and pest control is at a minimum. I haven’t used this, but again, try garlic, cayenne and marigold (powder or food processed) in a spray water bottle on the plants for bugs. A friend told me how to make this, and I am ever grateful.
In addition to YouTube, don’t overlook using Google, Wikipedia, WorldCat, the New York Times and your local library/University library card catalog online in doing research. And in shopping, remember Consumer Reports, craigslist, eBay (check the seller feedback and don’t get scammed, try to use PayPal as much as possible… if you like an expensive product on the website portion of this document, see if it is on eBay for less) and yard sales (get there early on Saturday morning). Don’t forget your local dollar store, and your local thrift shop. Also, if you are about to buy an expensive product, type the brand name and type of product followed by ‘coupon’ or ‘discount’ in Google. Often you can find a deal. Also, your local university may have an online “craigslist”. Amazon.com is great for shopping, both for price and diversity.
Please, use mass transportation and bicycle as much as possible. Carpooling is great for the environment, especially to and from work with people you trust. Also, please green up your home with insulation as much as possible. All of these suggestions saves you money and is very good for controlling global climate change. You can’t change the climate yourself, but together we can all change it. And please vote for our environment as well. Write letters to your favorite Congressperson insisting that we have a safe environment. You may want to also add that Americans need jobs… not just mundane manufacturing jobs, but sophisticated and meaningful work, at a good wage. We are ready for that.
If you are looking for a job and have been unemployed for a while, you can find tips about getting a job on the Internet. In my opinion it is a very good idea to have a trade under your belt in this economy, something that takes a year or so of education at a trade school in something you enjoy. Also, you can google your own city Chamber of Commerce and skim through the businesses in your city. You can find businesses that you would like to work for, or companies that you would like to apply your skills for. Do a knock out job on your resume and send it in, even if they aren’t hiring at the time. Call them back now and then to follow up (every six weeks or so). Possibly in a few months or so down the line you will get a call for your dream job.
This can help with immediate and middle term means of employment. There are many fall back jobs, but one that is immediate, easy and good money is housecleaning. You can go into business for yourself, and charge $13-15 per hour, and still beat market rates. All you have to do is print up a flyer and canvass your area. You will get a trickle of customers that way, and to get more you just do a really spiffy job and more come through word of mouth. As far as the job goes, you let the customer do all the work. They tell you how they want things cleaned, what to clean, and provide for you the cleaners they want in their house. All you have to do is supply the labor. Let them be the boss, and you take no risk. Takes about 4 hours to clean most normal sized houses. That can put some independent money in your pocket right away. Who knows? Maybe you will love the zen of it and do it part time as an independent contractor. You should look into some insurance in case you damage something expensive. That really is your only overhead cost. Pretty nice job. Clean, neat and no work related injuries, no toxic chemicals, and no boss. Just do a nice job and rake in the pay. It can also pay for some trade school if you have higher minded ideals about your income.
Other quick and independent work is house painting, lawn mowing, dog walking, and newspaper delivery. Kind of in that order in terms of pay. Again, for the first three all you need is a flyer. For painting, let the home owner supply the paint, brushes and tarps, and ask how they would like it done. You just follow their directions. Do some YouTubing to find tips on housepainting. For mowing, you can use the owner’s mower, you pay for the gas, something like that. You might need a rake and some trash bags, that is about it. Also, dishwashing is something you can do that is immediate, and quickly give them two weeks notice as soon as a better job comes along. If you are ambitious, landscaping is good work, and you can solve most problems by Googling and YouTubing to find answers as problems come up. Your local university Master Gardener office can help with tough problems if you call them. You will need a spade, a pick, gloves, a bow saw, pruning shears, a lopper, a trowel, suntan lotion, water, and a ladder (the homeowner usually has one, make sure it is safe) to get started. Again, just carefully follow the instructions of the homeowner.
All of this is for emergencies only. Try to find work in the meantime that is heart work for you. That is the goal. It is good to work independently if you can, as it gives you the sense of freedom to do exactly what you are called to do as you develop your interests in work life.
With all work, do a good job and the money will follow.
A word of advice. As the Hopi say, protect land and life, be humble, and live a long and happy life.
The Hopi are our nation’s most spiritually advanced people, and their literature is definitely wise to read. You can find their work on Amazon.com, WorldCat and in other places on the Internet. Please pray for the Hopi, as they pray for you.
Services for Those in Need:
If you are homeless and using this document, I encourage you to go to a church nearby and ask them for food from their pantry. Also ask them for help in getting services at the local social security office, if this appeals to you. Essentially, the church can help you as a general ally, and social services can help you with money matters such as: where to get unemployment pay, ssi or ssdi if you are disabled, heating/cooling assistance, WIC, TANF, foodstamps, section 8 or HUD housing, where to get medical insurance, etc. The church can also get you to the doctor/family member if you have a physical or mental illness, and help you with getting you on insurance. Also, churches sometimes help the homeless with getting work and services for work. The churches can help you with using the phone to get a local job, find housing, see a doctor, etc.
If you are Native American, there are special services. One place to look is:
Contacting the local United Way can help you find social services in the area, also. They tend to be a networking hub for social programs. Also, Community Action centers can help with free services such as food and other free services. Free clinics often are free medical clinics or have a sliding scale in your area. Lions’ Clubs in your area offer free prescription glasses. In some areas there are free dental days once a year where groups of dentists serve whole regions of low income people en masse over a 3-4 day period (they do this in my area). Some areas have community gardens where you can do some volunteer work and in exchange receive free produce. With time banking (google it) in your area you can barter your volunteer work in exchange for a service you really want from a pool of services of others in the barter pool. This is excellent for disabled who cannot work, Medicaid safe as it is volunteer work. Friends who are getting services like yours are great to network with. They may know things you don’t know about and vise verse. Share info!! See also http://localtools.org for creating/joining a lending library of tools and other needed things. Also, the local library likely has the Internet as well as a wealth of resources that you can use to help you.
If you have credit card debt, you can pay a lump sum on the principal for less than the full sum and interest. Credit card companies really want a reasonable payment rather than bankruptcy. Do all you can to avoid bankruptcy, it affects your credit for seven years, and then you need to build credit again. Student loans cannot go to bankruptcy. The loans must be paid back, so avoid excessive student loans if at all possible.
Don’t be ashamed or feel bad about homelessness… it is part of the fabric of the American way at this point. Do your best and make good choices and you should find yourself in a good situation soon. Take your time to make good decisions. A little love in your heart, some common sense and a wish will carry you a long way… just keep helping others as you are able. Life always is about give and take. And network, network, network! Good places to network are churches, social services, community action, united way, employment offices and food banks.
If you are mentally ill, fight for your mental health! Make sure you get the best medicine, what is right for you, make sure you get a competent psychiatrist, don’t stop until you get a well read and thoughtful therapist. You deserve it! See if your area has a PACT (Program Assertive Community Treatment) or ICT (Intensive Community Treatment) program in your area for the mentally ill (look it up on the Internet). These programs are very comprehensive for outpatient care and can make a world of difference in recovery, as can a vocational rehabilitation advisor if needed. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) your disability is legally protected in the workforce. If you tell your employer you have a mental illness at the outset of a job, you cannot be fired for that same mental illness, for example. Look into this for yourself. Also, support groups help so much, it is so helpful to know others are going through the same thing you are, and to share wisdom in overcoming common problems. Wisdom in numbers is an amplification of personal wisdom. Get as much of it as you can! Really understanding your confusion and being able to ask a person that can answer the question with clear understanding is an art. Sometimes it is luck. I find that if I am sincere in overcoming my problems, the Spirit matches me with answers. And if I do all I can to help a difficult situation, after that I have faith and hope in the Spirit. I always get what I need in the long run.
If you are unable to work due to disability of a physical or mental nature (as defined by your General Practitioner (doctor) for physical disability and your psychiatrist for mental illness) you are eligible for ssi if you have not worked and ssdi if you have worked. Ssdi is preferred, as it is a larger income (you can be eligible for both). If you have a disability, sign up for ssi benefits right away. You may not get accepted right away, but the program is retroactive to the time you first signed the ssi document. So if you get the benefits 6 years after you first signed, you will will get 6 years of benefits as your first check from social services. After that you will get a regular monthly check. You are also eligible for “food stamps” (SNAP, now a card) as well as heating and cooling assistance and WIC from Social Services. You are eligible for rental assistance at apartments that fit the guidelines of rental assistance (section 8 voucher), as well as HUD housing. You are eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, and a health care provider such as Aetna or United Healthcare. And again, you are eligible for programs like PACT/ICT, support groups, food banks, church programs, community non-profits for those with disabilities, community action programs, etc. And if you would like to go back to work or work part time there are programs such as vocational rehabilitation that is designed to help those with disabilities to go back to work or trade school/GED/college. Also, sis and ssdi are designed to help with going back to work in a stair-step fashion with part to full time work. If you try to go into a field you really like, you will probably face less problems during the rough times as your interest in the work and passion for the work and workmates will carry you through.
If you get an inheritance while on disability, you can create a ‘special needs trust’ through your lawyer. This protects your inheritance for payment for things that are primary needs (not ‘wants’). Your lawyer can serve as a payee. The special needs trust cannot be lost by a lawsuit or a hospital bill (if you don’t have insurance).
For general services in your area, dial on your phone or in your URL search bar type: 211
For many services, please see:
A tip regarding homelessness. You can store small things in a local bus station locker. Usually they run about .50 cents per day. Also, you can get free or low cost medical care by googling ‘free clinic near me’.
If you are homeless or otherwise stuck outdoors in the cold, you can find a cardboard box that is big enough to sleep in (like a refrigerator box). You can also ask a local store to give you 3 or 4 large, unused trash bags. You can fill the bags with leaves and twist tie the bag (so that bugs don’t bother you). This makes a great blanket, and combined with the box you have great insulation.
The one major problem is that you have to find a good place to put the box. Near a warehouse is bad, because a truck could run over the box, not knowing you are in it. By the side of the road a car or Mac truck could run over the box. In many public places the police may ask you to move. What is ideal is if you can find a remote area in the woods somewhere that is safe. There you have the problem of the land owner getting mad at you, and even using firearms.
I do not suggest this method, but if you are faced with hypothermia this can be life saving. Be wise, and try to get to a shelter or other warm resting place as soon as you can.
Also, see your local Habitat for Humanity Restore for quality, cheap furniture.
Resources for mental health from national NAMI (also great for families of the mentally ill):
If you feel suicidal, please contact National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or (800) 273-TALK.
Therapy meetings online:
Coping technique for anxiety:
[The number one reason for recurring mental illness that often results in incarceration, homelessness, or harm to self/other is not taking prescribed psychiatric medication, that you often need twice a day, every day. This is particularly crippling when using illegal drugs. Most often, the client thinks that they are well, and then goes off the psychiatric medication. Please, if in need, find a psychiatrist that suits you and stay on the meds. This is essential not just for your life, but for all family and friends that care about you.]
If you experience racial discrimination, contact your local NAACP office and network with them.
If you are an immigrant and need legal support, contact:
If you are LGBT and looking for support, check out this website:
If you are an elder and looking for assistance, please see your local Agency on Aging:
They have great services and serve as a networking center for other services for the elderly in your local area. A great place to start. Also check out the meals on wheels in your area for food.
If you are a military vet, please see the following. Please review this list and share with other veterans.
I will use myself as a case study, an example of how to use your resources to stretch your dollar. I am disabled, so this is especially useful if you have a disability.
I have ssdi (Social Security Disability Insurance). You can also get ssi (Supplemental Security Income), and possibly both. You will need to fill out a form, at your local Social Security office. Ask them about other benefits. For housing, I have a housing voucher that pays about 80% of my rent. I have heating and cooling assistance. I have Medicare, Medicaid and United Healthcare (very good provider). I have an Assurance Wireless phone, and Internet Essentials for my Internet ($9.95/mo, through Comcast for the disabled. iPads are around $400. The library is free. Occasionally United Way has free computers, check it out). I have SNAP benefits, and UHC gives me $175/mo for food and non-prescription vitamins and toiletries. Eating vegetarian saves money and is better for my health. For meat, check out your grocers ‘mark down meat’. You may want to cook it off when you get home, as this meat can rot. Talk to your meat grocer about the safety and taste of mark down meat.
UHC also pays for Planet Fitness, and free over the counter pharmacy items via Internet, new glasses and retinopathy test, In Network doctors including some dental. Good RX and Single Care are good for savings with meds.
To keep my water costs down, if the toilet water is yellow, I let it mellow. If brown, I flush it down. Also, I have a ‘tub ring’ from Amazon for my shower drain, which prevents hair from going down the drain. I try to wash my clothes in cold water. This is also good for your clothes.
In the winter I wear coveralls (from Super Casuals) and use a sleeping bag to keep warm. This way I can turn the thermostat down a little, saving energy and money. In the summer I keep a small mobile fan handy and keep my thermostat up a bit. Watch out in opening windows, as a sudden storm can destroy your floors. Check with the weather report to avoid damage. I use LED bulbs, which saves energy, which you can get at Lowes. My apartment is run by Community Housing Partners (CHP), and they ‘greened up’ our apartments. This saves energy and lowers heating/cooling costs. Thank you, CHP!
I have a Eureka vacuum cleaner… inexpensive, and you can clean the vacuum inside and out. I use Barkeepers Friend Liquid (from Target) and Simple Green for cleaning. I clean the whole house every 3 weeks, about 5 hours per cleaning.
I use a (free with UHC) electric toothbrush, which helps with the dentist.
I use manufacturer coupons for Kroger that I get in the mail, and I have a Kroger card, which helps. Dollar Store shopping also helps. I like their dog treats and dog waste bags.
I have Amazon Prime for the disabled, at $5.99/mo, which includes shipping costs and online movies. I have free Netflix via a chain with my cousin. Through Genoa Pharmacy I don’t have to pay for my meds about 6 months out of the year, due to the spend down.
Aetna and Anthem are said to be the top providers, as well as United Health Care. I strongly recommend UHC, it has many benefits and is reliable.
I pay $115 per year for rental insurance. If there is a fire, theft or flooding, my purchases from Amazon are recorded by Amazon. Therefore, I can claim these items lost if there is emergency damage.
All of my mental health care comes from my local PACT team. This covers psychiatric care, therapy, on call service (24 hours a day), and transportation for basic needs. I use a bicycle and bus to get around otherwise. I pay half fare on the bus, as I have a disability. Occasional taxi service or Lyft, but minimal.
You may not want to do this, but I save a lot on my food bill by eating the same foods for the whole week. It can be tiresome to eat the same thing, but it saves time, money and energy. Just an idea. Even just two types of meal/week can help save on food costs. I usually pay about $35-50 in food per week, and I eat well. Also, I use a Britta filter, cartridges from Target. It also helps to buy many things in bulk. I have a checklist of all the items in my home that need to be bought regularly. When I have money, I make sure my needs are met from this list before I buy things I want. Also, buying on Black Friday can help your personal buying as well as for Christmas.
I belong to a community garden where I get food in exchange for labor. I also get canned goods and vegetables from my local food bank. I get my pizza from Dominos, $5.99 for two medium pizzas (a piece), about $25 with a Coke. I like garlic and parmesan sauce (marinara has a vinegar taste I don’t like).
I belong to the Unitarian Universalist congregation, and do volunteer work for my UU. In exchange, I can get help when I need it from the UU community. I usually have Thanksgiving at the UU, and I have been attending services on Zoom since the COVID pandemic started. I also volunteer for TimeBanking, a form of volunteering/exchange in a large community of members. See if there is TimeBanking in your area.
I use bookfinder.com for buying books inexpensively. I get my glasses from Zenni Optical, my jeans from Super Casuals, and my tee shirts from Cheapestees. Tee shirts can be tie dyed at home, see at amazon.com Tulip Tie Dye Kit. I get cheap movies from my local pawn shop, and I have a DVD player from Best Buy for $40, top notch. A DVD player can also play CDs.
For charity, I do some volunteer work for friends in exchange for them giving to my favorite charity. Good karma!
I enjoy hiking, biking and dancing. This is inexpensive, good for the body, and beautiful. The ‘Pitch’ mountain bike is a good deal for transportation.
I have made an art about living well. If any/all of this appeals to you, I hope this helps.
For our environment, for all people, it is a good idea to recycle. Your town or city may have a curb side recycling program, or you can find a recycling center near you. For this, Google ‘recycling’ and then the name of your town and state, for example ‘recycling Topeka Kansas’.
For myriad environmental, social and personal survival reasons, it is a good idea to know how to grow your own food in a garden. If you would like to learn, you can volunteer by contacting your local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Again, type in ‘CSA’ in Google and then your city and state. For example, ‘CSA Topeka Kansas’. There should be a number of CSAs in your local area. You can contact a close one, or your favorite one, and see if you can volunteer in exchange for an ongoing education in agriculture.
Two things I suggest you carry with you if you can… a multi-tool such as SOG and a magnesium fire starter. The value of the multi tool is obvious, but the fire starter can help you get fire for warmth, to purify water, to keep animals away, to dry clothes, to signal for help, etc. Fire is very important, and magnesium is useful in any climate.
You may not think of this much, but in this country, and even around the world, we are all connected either by blood, marriage or both. We are one world family in a way that we have not been in probably thousands of years. So I hope you will take a moment to love the unlovable, as the Hopi would say, because that person is a distant relative, and make peace our goal (another Hopi saying), as we have no choice. It is up to us, because I don’t think the government or the UN can handle the problem. Have a wonderful day! Seth, …in loving memory of Abbie Hoffman…
Here are some things about the US military-industrial complex every American should know about:
Here is a short reading list about international catastrophe and oppression that we, as Americans, are responsible for. Our votes make a difference in foreign policy- they can’t vote in America but are affected by the American military-industrial complex, and we benefit from it:
Killing Hope by Blum (voice of war victims from WWII until the Iraq war)
Made in China by Ngai (voice of wage slavery in microcosm of the world. Wage slavery is in the 100s of millions in the developing world… Latin America, Africa and much of Asia. 10% of the global economy is from some form of outright slavery. Tuna, chocolate, shrimp, cotton, diamonds and gold are all industries replete with slavery conditions, and should be avoided as much as possible.)
World on the Edge by Brown (a voice of the environment of the world)
Be political! If you don’t like what is going on around the world in the name of America, call your Senator and Congressperson at 202-224-3121 and let them know what city and State you are from. Then tell them what you think of constant war, wage slavery, environmental collapse and relocation of native people. Be frank. We get treated like kings compared to the hardships of people in the developing world… because of the hardships of the people of the developing world!
You can find out what incumbent politicians background are like, and even contending candidates in elections seasons at https://ballotpedia.org and https://votesmart.org website. Please share these websites far and wide. The more you know about politicians and how they can help you, the wiser choice you can make in the voting box. Please, please vote, and vote informed. And remember, your vote can help the poor in the developing world, who cannot vote against criminal behavior of said US politicians that oppress them via the economy and military. In fact, only you can change that, with your vote!
Please note that water purification systems and the like referred to in this text generally refer to elimination of bacterial and viral substances, not chemical or radioactive. Chemically or radioactively polluted water should be avoided, and your local government office or university may be helpful in identifying this.
Please note that I am only an activist and not a professional in any of these fields. I try to provide quality information, but I make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in this document. Any advice given in this document should be further reviewed, preferably via professionals in the field.