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.

Invasive Species Awareness Week is here! It is important for us to control invasive species and prevent their spread. By taking just a few simple steps, we can protect wildlife and our ecosystem.

The best way to stay civically engaged and to advocate for the environment and environmental justice communities is by making sure you cast your ballot. This year New York City is voting for Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate, Borough Presidents, City Council, and District Attorneys in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The deadline to register to vote in…

Spring is here, and with it comes the amphibian breeding season. Amphibians are some of the most unique animals on the planet. By taking just a few simple steps, you can help conserve and protect these beautiful creatures for years to come.

New York has seen quite a lot of snow recently! While snowstorms are magical to watch, some snow removal methods unintentionally harm the environment. Read on to learn more about how to deal with snow in a more eco-friendly way.

Do you have a resolution in mind for 2021? Check out our ideas for New Year’s resolutions that are not only eco-friendly, but can also help your wallet, health, and increase quality time with loved ones.

The period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day is full of holiday cheer, but it also marks the time when we generate the most waste: 25% more than during any other time of the year. Unsurprisingly, much of this waste comes from gift wrapping. With just a little extra thought, you can help make a huge impact in reducing waste. Check out this week’s Green Tips to learn how to gift wrap the eco way!

As the holiday gift-buying season continues, New Yorkers may be replacing batteries in new electronics. Do you know how to recycle your batteries? If batteries are improperly disposed of, toxins will seep into the soil, air, and groundwater, heavily polluting the environment. To learn how to properly recycle your old batteries, read this week’s Green Tips.

E-waste includes dangerous chemicals that can have devastating effects on our health and the environment. Learn how to properly care for old electronics in this week’s Green Tips.

The holiday season has begun, and it’s a good time to green our shopping habits. Check out some of our tips below for shopping smart for the holidays.

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…

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…

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