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.

New York is experiencing one of its hottest summers on record. Even though we’re a month away from the Fall season, temperatures have continuously reached almost 100° in some parts of the State. We can attribute the recent scorching summers to climate change and the damage human impact has had on the environment. While an extremely hot day is not only unpleasant, it can be dangerous to human health. It is important to stay cool and take care of yourself and your loved ones on extremely hot days.  

The 4th of July, one of the most celebrated summer holidays in the United States, is just around the corner. Here are some ways that you can make sure your party is sustainable!

When we think about the impact of plastics on the environment, a few things probably come to mind: plastic bags drifting in the sea, animals tangled in fishing lines, microplastic particles in the soil, a water bottle that will exist on the planet longer than you will. The sheer scale of plastic pollution is almost too much to wrap our heads around, so how can we start to reduce the amount of waste we’re producing? In New York City, some organizations are beginning to work with the younger generations, connecting them with the resources they need to learn about sustainability and waste reduction. 

As the weather is warming up, the sun-fueled fun of summer makes it one of the most anticipated seasons of the year. As you get ready for longer days and warmer nights, there are many ways to reduce your environmental impact to ensure you have an eco-friendly yet exciting summer. 

Despite the recent cold weather in New York, the coming spring provides an opportunity to get out of stuffy offices and cramped rooms and appreciate the flora and fauna right outside our doors. Not only has regular exposure to green been found to be beneficial for mental health, but taking the time to familiarize yourself…

As Spring approaches, spring cleaning is on everyone’s minds. Unfortunately, many conventional cleaning products contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment and to humans. Most cleaning products come in plastic and non-renewable containers, only creating unnecessary waste. They can also be extremely expensive. 

Valentine’s Day gifts usually include flowers, greeting cards, presents, and nice dinners. This year, we encourage you to celebrate Valentine’s Day more sustainably. Check out the tips below for a greener Valentine’s Day!  

On Wednesday, January 12th, 2022, NYLCVEF and our partner, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, hosted a webinar with special guests Orsted and Eversource to learn more about their ongoing offshore wind projects, South Fork Wind and Sunrise Wind.

As COVID cases are spiking and the weather is getting colder, many are opting for takeout rather than dining in. Plastic containers and excess packaging can make takeout a less eco-friendly option, but there are many ways to still be environmentally conscious.

Many of the biggest threats to environmental policy and funding in New York are coming from Washington, posing a significant challenge to local officials. Despite this, we see opportunity. New York’s congressional delegation includes leaders on both sides of the aisle who can play an important role in their respective caucuses in ensuring that New…

Write as an individual. Legislators prefer hearing from “real constituents,” rather than representatives. Write about your personal experience and how the issue affects you.

For many people, making a phone call is a lot harder than composing a letter or sending off a tweet, but when the phone rings in our legislator’s office, they are obligated to answer.

On Tuesday, November 8th, voters on the East End of Long Island had an important environmental decision to make on their ballots: whether or not to extend the Community Preservation Fund (CPF) in the five East End towns.

An environmental violation can be broadly defined as an illegal act that harms the environment or endangers public health. Just like other illegal acts, environmental offenses violate federal, state or local law. New York State has many laws within the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) designed to protect the communities, environment and health of its residents….

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…

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