MIAMI -- Good intentions and common sense aren't enough to turn heads in South Florida. So when trying to raise awareness about unnecessary waste and composting, you have to slather some attractive ladies in fish poop.
Fertile Earth Foundation's Ladies of Manure calendar highlights how simple composting can cut down on tons and tons of unnecessary waste -- that includes uneaten food and yes, poop.
In the calendar, nearly nude and brown-streaked models straddle toilets, have crotches covered in worms, and peak out of poop-filled boats. See photos below.
"I mean, it's Miami. We know where we are. We have to reach our audience," says founder Lanette Sobol of the calendar's sexy theme.
Sobol, who has a background in finance and environmental consulting, founded Fertile Earth Foundation, which runs composting workshops and installations. She vermicomposts in her Miami Beach apartment, a method in which worms process organic waste into usable, rich fertile soil.
While cities like San Francisco and Seattle have mandatory composting, Sobol says Miami-Dade is in a bad spot for community-wide composting because the county has too lucrative a contract with the waste management company that runs local landfills.
In the meantime, Sobol says, South Florida's 1,500 nurseries have no other option but to import soil from around the world despite the fact that we can make our very own right here.
And yes, composting your own feces is a viable option.
"As long as it's properly composted, as long as bacteria breaks it down into its most basic component, that takes care of the dangers." As a further precaution, these bio solids are typically used to fertilize trees as opposed to vegetable crop, Sobol says, to give the human waste further time to break down before affecting produce.
But for now, Sobol hopes the Ladies of Manure calendar will make people rethink their food waste. "For people to go from not composting at all to composting their own poop, it's a stretch," Sobol told HuffPost Miami. "It's not something you immediately start doing."
One of Sobol's early projects was working with Miami hotels on a pilot composting project where food waste was transported to Virginia Key for composting. The resulting soil was then given to Roots in the City, a community Garden. One of the goals of the program was to have the hotels then buy their produce from the very gardens where their composted soil was used.
Unfortunately the pilot program stopped short due to the high cost of running the composting machine, which condensed to the composting process to a mere five days and avoids any foul smells or creeping vermin.
Like Sobol, the models used in the calendar are active in their own sustainability projects: one started an organic aquaponics farm in Puetro Rico and another developed a superfood farm in Jamaica. They also had to be courageous enough to show a little skin and get cozy with worms and poop.
"I'd rather shock people and have them start to think," Sobol says, "even if they at first think it's disgusting."
Help Fertile Earth Foundation fund the calendar as well as future workshops and programs on their Kickstarter page. Calendars will soon be available for sale on their site for $25.
Click below for images from the Ladies of Maure calendar: