BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana ranks dead last in the US for eco-friendliness, according to a new report.
WalletHub linked eco-friendliness to long-term financial stability in areas like energy consumption and disaster cleanup.
Louisiana's neighbor, Texas, was 49 on the list.
"It's very distressing," said Diane Losavio, with Baton Rouge Green. A local non-profit that educates the community about the importance of planting trees and caring for plants.
Wednesday, to celebrate Earth Day, the group was helping students at Southern University plant citrus trees.
Losavio says there are small things everyone can do, which can equal big changes for our environment.
"Trees help clean water, reduce storm water runoff, clean the air, provide oxygen, a habitat for wildlife and provide food for us."
A spokesman for the state department of environmental quality says they disagree with the ranking.
"We're on top of all the environmental pollutants in the state," said Greg Langley, with DEQ. "Make sure that people don't pollute more than their permit allows at a factory or plant."
He says they are aware there are things that can be improved on, such as recycling. That's one are where Louisiana was given low marks. DEQ points out the study only ranked the state low in two other areas: high energy consumption and low energy consumption of renewable resources.
"We run our air conditioning in the summer. I don't think many people are going to want to say well, we'll turn them off so we can be more eco-friendly."
Langley said they are making progress though. He says ozone levels in Baton Rouge are better. But he also says they don't know what kind of data Wallethub used in their rankings.
The financial website says it compared each of the 50 states using 14 key metrics. Those included air quality, water quality and gasoline consumption.
Vermont holds the top spot with high scores in both environmental quality and eco-friendly behavior categories.