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.

Halloween is right around the corner, and as you decide what costume you’ll wear we wanted to remind you not to forget about the environment! Check out our tips below for easy, cheap, and fun ways to lower your Halloween footprint.

Autumn in New York is a spectacular time to get outdoors and enjoy the many activities New York has to offer, from walking and bicycling to the numerous events and festivals. Peep our suggestions below for walking, hiking, and cycling trails that offer great views, as well as some family-oriented activities.

On Monday, September 24th, we held a policy forum as part of our Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign for electric school buses in environmental justice communities. Panelists discussed the impacts of diesel pollution and pathways towards transitioning to an electric school bus fleet. Read the recap here,

While death may not be the most pleasant topic to think about, it’s important to consider how your final farewell may impact the environment. How do you make the best decision regarding end-of-life planning for you or a loved one? Read some of our tips for reducing your funeral footprint.

One hundred and forty-five animals are protected in New York under the Endangered Species Act. Amongst these, there are 39 bird species that are either endangered, threatened, or under special concern. Follow these tips to learn how you can protect endangered birds.

Many local environmental groups organize day-long cleanup events to invite the public into their ongoing conservation campaigns. In addition to attending these events, organizing your own is a great way to support and engage your community in protecting the environment! You can follow the steps to organize your own community cleanup event,

Many of us have a standard bath and beauty routine. What we may not realize is that the cosmetics, skin and hair care products we have grown accustomed to using may incur immense environmental damages. Follow these tips to become a more eco-conscious consumer.

Art has long been a force for positive change and a central part of social justice movements. Now, art is playing an essential role in conveying the ecological, social, and economic repercussions of climate change, as well as in building support for the climate movement.

September is approaching and it’s time to start thinking about how you can kick off this school year in the most sustainable way possible. We have put together some tips to help make this school year the greenest yet.

On Tuesday, November 8th, voters on the East End of Long Island had an important environmental decision to make on their ballots: whether or not to extend the Community Preservation Fund (CPF) in the five East End towns.

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…

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