Before beginning an outdoor project, locate the nearest storm drains and protect them from debris and other materials. Sweep up and properly dispose of construction debris such as concrete and mortar. Use hazardous substances like paints, solvents and cleaners in the smallest amounts possible, and follow the directions on the label. Clean up spills immediately and dispose of the waste safely. Store substances properly to avoid leaks and spills.
Purchase and use nontoxic, biodegradable, recycled and recyclable products whenever possible. Clean paint brushes in a sink, not outdoors. Filter and rinse paint thinner when using oil-based paints. Properly dispose of excess paints through a household hazardous waste collection program, or donate unused paint to local organizations.
Reduce the amount of paved area and increase the amount of vegetated area in your yard. Use native plants in your landscaping to reduce the need for watering during dry periods. Consider directing downspouts away from paved surfaces onto lawns to increase infiltration and reduce polluted runoff.
For more information visit the United States Environmental Protection Agency.