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.

Summer is finally here, which means longer days, warmer weather, and more free time to get out and explore with your friends and family. This summer, don’t forget to pack the essentials: sunscreen, swimsuits, and of course, a good book.

National Ocean Month, celebrated every June, is a time to honor the waters that we rely on. It regulates climate and is home to countless forms of life. The ocean plays a major role in everyday life, and so it is critical to preserve this resource. Check out these tips to help preserve our ocean.

Each year, Father’s Day gives us the opportunity to celebrate our dads and honor everything they do for us. This year, join us in celebrating fathers while showing the planet we all share some love.

The kitchen generates more waste than any other room in your home, eating up money and resources through daily activities like washing, cleaning, and cooking. By making some simple changes to your kitchen habits, you can do your part to benefit the environment and save some money in the process.

This Wednesday, May 29th, is National Learn About Composting Day. What better way to celebrate than to start incorporating composting practices into your daily life? We know that composting may be daunting, but this type of recycling is an effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Check out our tips and get started today!

Plastic waste is overwhelming the world. Scientists have cataloged 8.3 billion tons of plastic that have been produced, discarded or burned over the last 60 years. Plastic takes 400 years to degrade and can be found everywhere. Even the computer or mobile phone you’re reading this on contains plastic. Ninety-one percent of the plastic Americans…

Friday, May 17th is National Bike to Work Day, an opportunity to see the benefits of bike riding for yourself, try something new and get some more exercise. Before hitting the open road, check out some of our tips.

On Mother’s Day, we celebrate and honor mothers everywhere. When getting a gift for mom this year, why not consider honoring Mother Earth too?  Check out our Mother’s Day Green Gift Tips.

Local farms grow fresh and highly nutritious foods compared to foods found in the supermarket. We know choosing food can be overwhelming, so we’ve put together tips for how you can start eating locally.

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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