Citizen's Toolkit

Our mission is to educate New Yorkers and help them become engaged and empowered advocates for the environment. The resources listed here can help you learn about environmental issues across the state and take advantage of the ways you can protect environment in your personal life and by getting involved in policy and political processes at the local and state levels. From contacting your representatives to the appropriate avenues to report environmental hazards to how to register to vote, these pages can help you protect the interests that are most important to you. As part of the Citizen’s Toolkit, we also provide weekly “Green Tips” so that you can make sustainable lifestyle choices. In the fight against climate change, every little effort can help to reduce carbon emissions and protect our planet from the worst.

Although we may not often consider how what we wear impacts the planet, the clothing and textiles industry makes an immense contribution to global warming. As public recognition of the connection between our outfits and our carbon footprint grows, it’s up to us to go on the hunt for a more climate-conscious style.  Here are some tips to get you started.

Summer activities can take a toll on the environment and contribute to our greenhouse gas emissions, but you can make these last days of summer a little greener by following some of our tips.

Pets require resources that can take a toll on the environment including chemicals in cleaning products, processed foods, and toxic toys. However, there are many ways to reduce these potentially harmful effects. We have compiled a few here.

Our buildings have a monstrous carbon footprint, accounting for almost 40% of national carbon emissions nationally. This massive energy expenditure not only accelerates global warming, but also contributes to local air pollution.

Recycling has resulted in a reduction of 1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in New York State, the equivalent of taking 211 million cars off the road for one year. You can do your part to help New York generate less trash and become more sustainable by making sure you’re properly sorting your recycling.

Many families travel during the summer while school is out and the weather is warm. Sometimes flying is the best way to get where you’re going, and while airlines are making small strides to become more fuel efficient, planes still contribute a large amount of carbon into the atmosphere. To make your vacation more environmentally friendly, we’ve put together some tips for you to consider when planning your next trip.

Summer is here, which means it’s grilling season! There are some steps you can take to reduce the toxins emitted at barbeques and make your party more environmentally friendly.

The average New Yorker creates 16.5 tons of trash per year. Although Americans are recycling now more than ever, it is crucial we take steps to create less trash and prevent landfills from continuing to grow in size and number. Here are some steps we can take to cut down on our trash and help our environment.

Reducing meat consumption has countless health, environmental, and economic benefits. Here are some tips explaining how Meatless Mondays can help on a personal and global level.

An environmental violation can be broadly defined as an illegal act that harms the environment or endangers public health. Just like other illegal acts, environmental offenses violate federal, state or local law. New York State has many laws within the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) designed to protect the communities, environment and health of its residents….

Every year, NYLCVEF and our sister organization, NYLCV, work with New York’s leading environmental, public health, conservation, energy, environmental justice, and transportation organizations to identify the state’s most pressing priorities on climate change, public health and natural resources. The result of that effort is the document that you have here. Our 2016 agenda charges the…

You can find out a lot about your state government and how to get involved in the electoral and legislative processes online. We have provided some links below to get you started. Open.NY.gov was launched in March 2013 to provide “user-friendly, one-stop access to data from New York State agencies, localities, and the federal government.”…

Identifying a Policy This is the starting point in the process, and the first point at which the citizen has a chance to have a say in the writing or rewriting of law. Ideas for legislation come from many sources: a legislator may have an idea; one of his or her constituents may point out…

On Tuesday, June 2nd Suffolk County passed the Toxic-Free Toys Act unanimously. The bill will prohibit the sale of children’s toys that contain unsafe levels of six hazardous chemicals: antimony, arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, lead, and mercury. This is a huge victory for children and parents in Suffolk County. Legislator Kara Hahn introduced the bill after…

After the release of our report in Westchester County documenting the presence of dangerous chemicals and heavy metals in children’s toys and products, County Legislative Majority Leader Catherine Borgia announced she would be introducing a law to ban seven of the most toxic chemicals from children’s products, and the County Board of Legislators quickly got…

Assemblymember Steve Englebright discusses the Child Safe Products Act at press conference. Last year the Child Safe Products Act died in the Senate despite bipartisan support. It had 40 cosponsors but was not brought to a vote. We were disappointed, but we immediately got back to work with our coalition partners to get a similar…

Health and environmental advocates today unveiled a report, “Toxic Toys on Long Island,” detailing the presence of toxic chemicals like mercury and cadmium in children’s toys and products. The dangerous chemicals have been linked to cancer, cognitive impairments, hyperactivity and genetic disorders in children. All of the toys and products tested were purchased in Long…

PlaNYC2030 set out an ambitious goal to divert 75 percent of our solid waste from landfills. As food currently makes up about 35 percent of all waste generated in New York City, composting represents an attractive opportunity to save taxpayer dollars and reduce transportation impacts. Various composting pilot projects are underway in residential and school…

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