How To…


How To…


“How To” is one of the most important things that a CAC or Sustainability Committee has to know. The mantra of “self-education before educating others” is essential in any endeavor your group decides to get itself involved with. We’ve listed 50 How To” articles in honor of NYSACC’s 50th Anniversary this year, with 1 extra for good luck!

  1. How to write an environmental management plan: How to Write an Environmental Management Plan: 14 Steps (


2. How to change from a linear to a cyclical production system: The Story of Stuff – YouTube


3. How to make your own produce bags: How to Make Produce Bags (DIY Tutorial) | Wellness Mama

5. How to make an Insect Hotel: How to build an insect hotel – YouTube

6. How to make local government more environmentally friendly: Local Governments: Be More Environmentally Friendly | Diligent Insights

Lena Eisenstein is the Commercial Alignment Manager for Content Strategy at Diligent Corporation. She builds and maintains content strategies that provide relevant, top-value thought leadership that resonates with directors and governance professionals. Lena graduated from the University of Delaware with a B.A. in English and a minor in journalism. She has dreams of fulfilling her passion for the wine industry and one day opening her own vineyard.


7. How to improve Collaboration in Local Government: 10 Steps to Improve Collaboration in Local Government (

9. How to get local government into environmental protection: The role of government in environmental protection | Grist

10. How to become an environmental scientist: How to Become an Environmental Scientist: 13 Steps (with Pictures) (

12. How to have both smart growth and economic success in your own municipality: Smart Growth and Economic Success: Strategies for Local Governments | Smart Growth | US EPA

13. How to plant trees for a reforestation project: How to Plant Trees for a Reforestation Project: 10 Steps (


15. How to become a better and effective team leader: How to Become a Better and Effective Team Leader: 10 Steps (

16.  How to motivate your team: How to Motivate a Team (with Pictures) – wikiHow

18. How to use the NYSDEC Environmental Notice Bulletin: How to Use the ENB – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

19. How to save the wetlands: 3 Ways to Save the Wetlands – wikiHow

20.  How to use the NYSDEC Environmental Assessment Form: How to Use the EAF Workbooks – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

21. How to clean rivers: 3 Ways to Clean Rivers – wikiHow


22. How to use the NYSDEC DECinfo Locator Map – Mobile: How to Use the DECinfo Locator Map- Mobile (

23. How to take action to stop illegal logging: 3 Ways to Take Action to Stop Illegal Logging – wikiHow

24. How to use the NYSDEC DECinfo Locator Map: How to Use the DECinfo Locator Map (

25. How to help prevent brushfires: 4 Ways to Help Prevent Bushfires – wikiHow


26. How to understand the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA): How Does SEQR Work? – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

28.  How to see if your municipality has a Critical Environmental Area (CEA): Critical Environmental Areas – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

30.How to subscribe to the NYSDEC Conservationist magazine: How to Subscribe – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

32. How to Save the Forests: 3 Ways to Save the Forests – wikiHow

33. How to prune trees: How to Prune Trees (

34. How to protect trees during construction: 3 Ways to Protect Trees During Construction – wikiHow


37.How to plant trees to fight climate change: 6 Easy Ways to Plant Trees to Fight Climate Change – wikiHow

38. How to understand a State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit (SPDES): FAQ about Permit Requirements of the SPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges (

41. How to create a bear-resistant canister: Bear Resistant Canisters – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

43. How to plant trees for a reforestation project: How to Plant Trees for a Reforestation Project: 10 Steps (

45.  How to get children interested in conservation: 3 Ways to Get Children Interested in Conservation – wikiHow

46. How to see environmental webinars produced by the Hudson River Estuary Program: Conservation and Land Use Webinars – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

48. How to use a dog to fight invasives: A Dog’s Nose Knows–How to Help Fight Invasives (

49. How to identify, Prevent, and Control Oak Wilt: How To Identify, Prevent, and Control Oak Wilt (

51. How to Avoid Being Greenwashed In Food Purchasing? Source:

A. Bypass the Packaging and Read the Label

Don’t be fooled by pictures of fruit, farms or any other faux-branding. There are no regulations on the images a company can use on their packaging.

Even though you’re buying a bag of fried potatoes, the image on the packaging of fresh vegetables being pulled from the earth by a burly farmer can easily convince consumers they’re making a healthy choice.

B. Beware of Branding

Another deceitful trick of greenwashing is using earth tones to connote an all-natural vibe. Since the new era of consumers has shown a clear interest in health, brands have begun producing packaging with more greens, browns, and blues, and avoiding bright, flashy, and unnatural colors.

Once again, the visual does not necessarily represent the food. The only way to tell if food is truly healthy (whatever your definition of healthy may be) is to READ THE LABEL.

C. Look for Proof of Green Practices

Look for proof that your products are healthy. Products that are actually healthier and more sustainable will flaunt their certifications, so it shouldn’t be hard to find.

Some trustworthy seals to look for on your products are:

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic certification: USDA certification is a reliable source due to their regulations and rules that govern how a product is made from growth to manufacturing.

Green Seal: Green Seal is an eco-friendly nonprofit that develops standards for companies to comply with to be labeled environmentally friendly.

Non-GMO Project Verified: The Non-GMO Project is not yet the official certification for identifying non-GMO products, but right now it’s the leading verification. Since genetically modified organisms are a newer concept, there is no official certification yet. The Non-GMO Project is a difficult seal to attain because it requires absolutely no GMO’s down to the cow, plants, and seeds.


D. Stop Trusting the Slogans


A company cannot claim to be “all-natural” if it is blatantly adding chemicals to its products. But there are many ways for “all-natural” brands to side-step the loose vernacular. Since the FDA doesn’t regulate the term “all-natural,” there are no official rules or regulations around the slogan.

Often, companies will use ingredients with compounds derived from plants mixed with synthesized compounds. The only way to truly know if a product is all-natural is by checking the ingredients and researching anything you’re not familiar with.

E. Know What Being Green Really Means

Labels and certifications can refer to a number of different aspects of a product. There is a wide spectrum of practices that go into food production. Does “sustainably produced” mean a commitment to minimal packaging, farming practices, or efficient manufacturing?

About Simon Skolnik

Simon Skolnik is the President of NYSACC and Chair of the Town of Bedford Conservation Board. A trained civil engineer, Mr. Skolnik devoted his career to the management of public and private sector construction projects. He was first appointed to the Bedford Conservation Board in 1985 and became Chair in 1995. He joined the NYSACC Board of Directors in 1989, was elected Vice President in 1995, and elected President in 2019.

Besides their historic role in the protection of open space, Mr. Skolnik views Conservation Advisory Commissions and Boards as among the most vital and important institutions in combating climate change locally and mitigating its effects on the natural and built environments.

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