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.

While face masks have been instrumental in mitigating the spread of the coronavirus, single-use masks have begun littering the ground across New York. Here’s how we can reduce disposable mask waste.

Getting together for a socially-distant party is a nice way to celebrate with friends and family, even for small gatherings. We’ve put together a few ways you can make your at-home happy hour more eco-friendly.

The summer isn’t over yet. If you have a swimming pool and are still planning to take a dip in the pool, check out this week’s Green Tips to help you maintain it in an eco-friendly way!

Earlier this year, we published a series of Green Tips that covered how to establish and maintain a garden. Now that the growing season is coming to a close for certain varieties, we’re rounding out the series with tips on how to harvest your garden.

Campfires are an integral part of camping. Check out our Green Tips to reduce environmental harm and stay safe.

Check out this week’s Green Tips on celebrating the nation’s public lands and ensuring that they will thrive for future generations to come.

Freshwater sources are currently under threat. We need to reduce our water use at home to save enough freshwater for all New Yorkers.

In the summer, the days are longer, hotter, and the sun is brighter. For many, protecting the skin from intense ultraviolet (UV) rays is essential to avoid skin damage and burns. Both UV-A and UV-B rays can damage the eyes and skin, and potentially lead to vision problems and skin cancer. With the summer in…

Think of all the plastics that won’t enter our waterways because of the small changes that individuals are making to reduce plastic waste.

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…

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…

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