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.

The theme of this year’s Earth Day is Protect our Species. New York State is home to approximately 150 fish and wildlife species considered to be endangered. To do your part to protect these species and their habitats, check out our tips.

Earth Day is April 22nd but we’re celebrating all month! Help us honor the natural environment by spending time visiting your local park or playground. Here are some green tips on having the best day in the park.

Spring has arrived, and with it, more hours of sunlight. We hope you will take advantage of the changing season while remaining mindful about our environment. Here are some tips to make your spring activities even greener.

Motivated by warmer weather and sunshine, many people take time in spring to do a thorough cleaning of their homes, removing any lingering buildup or dirt from the winter months. Make sure you’re practicing a green spring cleaning routine this year by following our tips.

In the U.S., the average household uses 400 gallons of water a day! Here is a list of helpful tips to conserve water where you live.

March 22, 2019 marks the 25th annual World Water Day. This United Nations observance day celebrates the importance of freshwater worldwide and raises awareness of the global water crisis. Check out our tips for how you can celebrate and protect the water that we all rely on.

Did you know that March 14th is National Learn About Butterflies Day? Monarchs are one of the most commonly recognized butterflies in the US. Test your monarch knowledge by checking out some of our facts.

While big changes are necessary to fight climate change on a policy level, you can start making tiny changes today in your own home to reduce your carbon footprint. Check out our tiny tips for going green at home.

Doing laundry is a chore, but did you know that it is also a burden on our planet? Residential laundry generates 8.29% of total residential carbon emissions. Make this dirty job a little less dirty by trying out some of our tips.

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…

Health and environmental advocates today unveiled a report, “Toxic Toys in Westchester County,” 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 Westchester…

Popular toys and children’s products being sold in Albany County contain toxic chemicals that pose health risks to children, according a new survey.  Researchers found a dozen toys on store shelves containing lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium and more – toxic chemicals that have been linked to cancers, cognitive impairments and hyperactivity. The report, “Toxic Toys…

Notwithstanding several recent, high-profile capital projects, New York City’s parks as a whole have suffered from public disinvestment for years.  The shortfall is starkest with regard to operation and maintenance; the Parks Department’s operating budget has been cut back for over 40 years, and is now 37% less than in 1961. The city will have…

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