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.

June is National Pollinator Month! This week’s Green Tips will help you support pollinator populations that are on the decline due to climate change, pesticides, habitat loss, and disease.

Green infrastructure (GI) helps protect our waterways, reduces flooding, and beautifies our public spaces. Communities use green infrastructure to manage stormwater that flows from impervious surfaces like roads and roofs. 

Setting up a garden can be hard work. Don’t let your effort go to waste by not properly maintaining what you’ve created! This week’s Green Gardening Tips will help you manage your garden throughout the spring and summer months.

Beyond providing food and beautifying spaces, gardens can serve many purposes, including  supporting natural processes and pollinators. This week, our Green Gardening Tips focuses on speciality gardens that help protect our waterways.  Rain gardens help capture, absorb, and filter rainwater. They are a type of green infrastructure, or a natural technique for managing rainwater runoff….

Watch our program coordinator Lisa Darrigo, also a master composter with the NYC Compost Project, show how you can start a worm bin for composting at home.

According to the National Gardening Association, more than one-third of American households grow their own food. Give those seedlings a new home with our tips for establishing a garden inside and outside of your home.

As we find ourselves in unprecedented times, the ways we once celebrated spring may look very different this year. To help you stay connected to nature at home, we are kicking off our Green Gardening Tips series.

The Delaware River has fittingly received the award for “River of the Year” 2020 because of the many restoration and stewardship efforts led by nonprofit organizations across the four states. The story of the Delaware River is a good example of environmental progress that can happen when we all work together to protect our precious natural resources.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Check out our tips for celebrating earth day in quarantine.

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…

A major challenge to New York City’s water quality is combined sewer overflows (CSOs), which discharge a mixture of untreated sewage and storm water runoff into our waterways. The city has piloted green infrastructure projects as a more cost-effective way of managing CSOs than traditional gray infrastructure. Green infrastructure also has ancillary quality-of-life benefits and…

The Town of East Hampton has a long record of sustainability leadership, particularly on the issue of open space. But there are many steps the town can take to continue to improve its environmental performance–and the town’s elected leaders will play a critical role in this effort. For this reason, the New York League of…

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