Apart from LGBT rights, being environmentally conscious, more sustainable, and leaving a smaller carbon footprint on our earth is one of the biggest issues of today. And with our growing numbers, the LGBT community could be a huge driving force for supporting sustainability.

Margarita Lopez NYCHAMargarita Lopez, NYCHA Environmental Coordinator, is working to show New York citizens what their “green” options are. As a feminist and out lesbian in a high leadership position, Lopez is an inspiration to the entire LGBT community to go green.

With half a million residents of NYC public housing, NYCHA felt it had a commitment to the city to promote greener living for its residents. Margarita Lopez, desigNYC and NYCHA started down the long road of discovering how public housing residents could be more sustainable. It crafted a 50-page document that discussed ways in which residents could be more environmentally conscious, but they ran into a problem—no one wanted to read it.

Under the guidance of Margarita Lopez and desigNYC, NYCHA partnered with The Rooster Design Group to make the document into something easier and more interesting to read. Slowly, the text came to life—changing words to pictures and using more concise wording to engage readers.

Margarita Lopez NYCHAToday, the guide is available in both Spanish and English, and reads like an environmental magazine might. As the Environmental Coordinator for NYCHA, Margarita Lopez knows the value of the changes that have been made. “The design is critical to success,” she says. “If you don’t pick it up to begin with, then you can never open it, and if you never open it, then the message I have for you is never heard.”

More resources like these ought to be available for others. New York City is a great place for this movement to take place because it’s so population dense, but hopefully we will see more urban areas take the same initiative. Imagine the difference we could make if the majority of the LGBT community decided to follow similar guidelines for sustainable living.