BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Monday kicked off the first day of Love the Boot Week. This week highlights picking up trash to keep Louisiana Beautiful.

According to local officials, throwing litter out your window is like throwing dollars away. Over 40 million dollars is spent each year to pick up litter in the state of Louisiana. Officials said it is time to change the unhealthy habit.

“Litter communicates that nobody cares, that no one is watching, and that no one is invested in our communities,” said Executive Director of Keep Louisiana Beautiful Susan Russell. “Litter can turn a sight into a dump sight overnight it seems like. Litter is plaguing our roadways, it’s clogging up our storm drains and it is time we stop and make a change.”

We can all work together to keep Louisiana beautiful — just simply throw it away.

“It’s costly to our environment, to our quality of life, to tourism, to economic development. People come here and see a dirty Louisiana, they don’t want to locate their business here,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser.

Nungesser said the state could be further ahead if they didn’t have to spend so much money on picking up trash.

“Imagine we didn’t have to spend that money picking up litter, we could spend it on education, on other great services for Louisiana,” he explained. “So it’s costly not only to the environment to us personally, but it costs a lot of tax dollars that we better spend in other places.”

The lieutenant governor said his office is working with local governments and state legislatures to increase civil and criminal penalties for littering in the state of Louisiana.