Comparing Nutritional Benefits of Lomi earth to Compost and Fertilizers

Lomi with someone holding lomi soil

When you think about the soil in your community, is it dark brown? Does it absorb rain? Is it covered in plant life?

Or is it more of a light brown color, with minimal plants popping through its crust? When it rains does water run off of it, or carve out little canyons in the soil rather than absorbing it?

The first soil described is often fertile, healthy, and nutrient rich. Which is great, because soil health is integral to our planet’s health. When we take care of the soil around us, we have the opportunity to take care of the planet.

Even if your soil is light brown, cracked, and plant-less, there are ways to put nutrients back in your soil.

Compost, organic fertilizers, and Lomi soil are three ways you can add nutrients to the soil around you. The nutrients found in these products support the microorganisms and plants that call your soil home. There are some differences between fertilizers, compost, and Lomi soil that you should be aware of to make educated steps to support your soil and plant health.

For example, did you know that Lomi is doing more than just processing your kitchen scraps? The Lomi earth created in ‘Grow Mode’ provides similar nutrients to organic and non-synthetic fertilizers. Arming yourself with knowledge like this as a gardener, plant enthusiast, or sustainable advocate can help you make the best choices for your soil’s health. 

The Lomi composter process for creating nutrient-rich plant food.

Lomi with food scraps inside

Lomi uses heat, abrasion and oxygen to speed up the composting process and break down organic matter.

To compost, place your organic waste and Lomi approved bioplastics in the compost chamber and select the composting “mode”. A rotator attached to a motor inside the compost chamber will begin to turn the organic waste. An air duct pushes warm air into the compost chamber to dehydrate and break down the materials inside. In four to twenty four hours (depending on the mode you select), you’ll have nutrient rich plant food.

Lomi has three different modes: Eco-Express mode, Grow mode, and Lomi Approved mode. We also offer Lomi pods, which we recommend in each mode to create the most nutrient dense Lomi earth!

Eco-Express Mode: Have a bunch of friends or family members coming over for dinner? Use Lomi’s express mode to make room for more food waste fast! Eco Express mode breaks down and reduces the volume of your waste by 80% in just four hours.

Grow Mode: Have some time on your hands and want to give your plants the most nutrient rich earth possible? The grow mode retains the majority of the nutrients from your organic waste, leaving you with soil that is rich in microbial culture and soil nutrients. This mode creates soil that is ideal for your plants. In fact, its nutrients are similar to an organic fertilizer!

Lomi Approved Mode: While feeding your plants your unneeded plastic may sound like a Sci-Fi movie based in the future, that reality is much closer than you think! The Lomi Approved mode breaks down compostable, OK for HOME bioplastics. When the cycle finishes, you can mix your Lomi earth into your garden or house plants. To give your soil an extra nutritional boost, we recommend using LomiPods with this cycle.

LomiPods: Reduces smell? Check! Improves speed of degradation? Check! Creates more nutrient rich Lomi Earth for your plants and dirt? Check! LomiPods are a blend of proprietary probiotics that can be added to any compost mode and will help your Lomi soil be more microbially dense. AKA, better for your plants and soil!

To get the most out of your Lomi earth, place a variety of waste in your Lomi. We’re not sure how many eggshells fit in a 3L bucket, but we’re sure it’s a lot. Instead of going for the record for the world’s biggest omelet, we recommend mixing organic matter for optimal Carbon: Nitrogen ratio. A good Carbon: Nitrogen ratio will help your Lomi earth act more like a fertilizer! 


Lomi by Pela



Lomi allows you to turn food waste into plant-ready nutrients in under 24 hours. Boost your plants while reducing your waste.


How much waste can I divert from landfills using Lomi? 

Picture of landfill

We can’t give you an exact number for how much waste you can divert, as we don’t know your purchasing habits. We can tell you that 50% of the volume of waste sent to landfills each year in the United States is compostable materials.

In 2018, 63.1 million tonnes, or 21.6% of all materials sent to landfills in the United States consisted of food waste. If every American composted their food, we could divert around 21.6% of our waste back into our soil as nutrients.

And with a compact, smell free, quiet, and low energy composter like Lomi, as well as many other great composting options (like owning chickens), there’s no reason not to compost. 

Understanding the role of nutrients and microbes in soil and plant health

A handful of soil with nutrients

There are at least three essential nutrients in each batch of Lomi soil that support your plant and soil health: Nitrogen, phosphorus and sodium. Nitrogen and phosphorus are major components of chlorophyll and aid photosynthesis, which helps plants create food. Sodium supports the plant's metabolism.

But what are microbes?

Unless you’re a bit of a soil nerd (like us) you may not know what soil microbes are. Soil microbes are, “broadly defined as a group of microscopic life forms that include bacteria, archaea, viruses and eukaryotes like fungi.

Two key microbes for plant and soil health are bacteria and fungi. Bacteria break down nutrients and release them for plant roots to ingest. Fungi help make nutrients available for plants through their complex root systems called mycorrhizae.

When you use your Lomi, you’ll be breaking down your organic waste without harming the microorganisms. When you mix your Lomi dirt into soil, the microorganisms will get to work breaking down nutrients for plants to digest.

Plus, microbes support your overall soil health by creating better soil texture and increased water retention!   

Choose your fighter! Lomi earth, compost, organic fertilizer, or synthetic fertilizer? 

If you’re a gardener, home owner, or community member looking to increase your soil quality, you have quite a few options to consider. Compost, Lomi soil, organic fertilizer, synthetic fertilizer… What's the difference?!

We’ll take a look at how each product supports plant life, soil health, and the planet’s health.  

Meet Lomi earth

Lomi with dirt inside

Lomi earth is made of organic matter, like plants and animals. Apply Lomi earth at a 1:10 ratio to your soil to improve your plant and soil health.

Given that Lomi is high in organic matter, it has a slow, long lasting release rate. This release rate occurs as microbes in the soil break down organic materials. Once broken down, they release the nutrients safely and without overstimulating plants.

You’ll need to apply fewer applications compared to a quick releasing nutrient solution, like synthetic fertilizers. This makes Lomi earth a long lasting nutrient solution for your plant and soil health. And, poor quality soil depleted of microbes will not delay results as Lomi earth has microbes in it.

Depending on what you compost in Lomi, the nutrient levels can fluctuate. When you add Lomi soil to your soil, you’re adding macro and micro nutrients. Lomi earth provides organic materials that decompose and release nutrients that plants and soil microorganisms can use.

The main benefits of Lomi earth:

  • Stimulates microbes and promotes a healthy ecosystem
  • Improves soil texture
  • Increases soil’s water retention
  • Creates better soil drainage and aeration
  • Improves cation exchange capacity (the ability to hold and use nutrients)
  • Root growth 
  • Better disease resistance
  • Better insect resistance

There is minimal to no run-off or leaching with Lomi earth. Leaching is when fertilizer moves deeper into soil and contaminates groundwater. Run off is when fertilizer moves from its intended areas, via water, to other sites where it could potentially cause harm.

Over application of Lomi earth will not burn plant leaves or roots. 

Meet compost

A handful of compost

Lomi earth and compost have a lot of similarities. Both feed the plants and the soil, and both are made of organic materials.

Compost is also a long lasting nutrient solution that is microbially rich. It requires fewer applications than synthetic fertilizer. Soil microbes safely and slowly break down and release the nutrients from the organic matter in the compost for plants to use.

Compost is applied at a 1:4 ratio. The nutrient levels in compost can fluctuate, but it does provide macro and micro nutrients, like Lomi earth.

The main benefits of compost:

  • Stimulates microbes and promotes a healthy ecosystem
  • Improves soil texture
  • Increases soil’s water retention
  • Creates better soil drainage and aeration
  • Improves cation exchange capacity 
  • Root growth
  • Better disease resistance
  • Better insect resistance

Even with overapplication, compost will not burn the leaves or roots of your plants. Compost creates minimal, if any run-off or leaching. 

Meet organic fertilizer

Organic fertilizer

Organic fertilizer has many similarities to Lomi earth, too. In fact, when using your Lomi in Grow Mode, you’ll be creating soil with similar nutrients to organic fertilizer.

This type of fertilizer is made of plant and animal materials. The nutrient levels can fluctuate and organic fertilizer includes macro and some micro nutrients (often trace amounts).

Organic fertilizer is a long lasting nutrient solution. Microbes in the soil break down organic material from the organic fertilizer, releasing the nutrients without overstimulated growth. Application depends on if the fertilizer is in its raw form or pellets. Be sure to read the directions for specific application information. There is no harm in over application.

It’s important to note that one of the main differences between Lomi earth and organic fertilizer is poor soil quality with depleted soil microbe communities may delay results for fertilizer.

The main benefits of organic fertilizer:

  • Stimulates microbes and promotes a healthy ecosystem
  • Improves soil texture
  • Increases soil’s water retention
  • Creates better soil drainage and aeration
  • Improves cation exchange capacity 
  • Root growth 
  • Better disease resistance
  • Better insect resistance

Like compost and Lomi earth, organic fertilizer is usually safe for your plants, soil, and the planet. 

Meet synthetic fertilizers

A person fertilizing a plant

Synthetic fertilizers are different from Lomi earth, organic fertilizer, and compost for many reasons. In fact, we aren’t including a benefits section for this type of nutrient provider. The two main benefits are mainly faster or larger plant growth, and higher crop yield.

Synthetic fertilizers are made of non-renewable or synthetic materials. They often contain little to no organic matter.

This type of fertilizer only feeds the plant rather than promoting soil heath, too. It’s also not a slow release, like the other nutrient options. Synthetic fertilizers are a quick release and highly concentrated. They’re macronutrient only formulas, designed for specific outcomes. This means that more than one application will be needed.

By not contributing to soil health, synthetic fertilizers miss out on improving soil structure. It can also potentially decrease soil fertility due to chemical nitrogen over stimulation. This can cause excessive microorganism growth and overtime, can deplete the organic matter in the soil and lead to a loss in soil biodiversity.

Incorrect or overapplication may lead to burns on roots and leaves due to high concentrations of chemical nutrients (mainly salts). Synthetic fertilizers have also been known to cause excessive top growth and stress roots.

Environmentally, synthetic fertilizers pose some threats to our planet rather than promoting its health. High nutrient concentrations can build up in the soil. Also, water is needed to release the nutrients from the fertilizers, which means a significant amount of nutrients can be lost in run-off or leaching… sometimes as much as ⅓ of the total application!

Some synthetic fertilizers may also be dangerous to humans and pets. 

The best uses for Lomi earth

Lomi with scraps

We recommend using Lomi earth in your house plants, garden, yard, and community. The closer you keep your soil to your home, the lower your overall carbon footprint will be. If you don’t have a yard or houseplants you could:

  • Donate your soil to a school garden
  • Reach out to plant shops in your area to give them the nutrient rich soil
  • Offer the soil to the landscaping crew at your apartment complex
  • Gift the soil to a houseplant enthusiast
  • Connect with parks in your community to provide a donation of the soil
  • Place your Lomi earth in a composting or green bin program

By using your Lomi earth around your home or in your community, you’re not just providing nutrients for your plants. Healthy soil also helps sequester carbon from the air.

As you likely know, Lomi allows you to send less waste to landfills. By using Lomi earth around your community you’ll be preventing around 60kg of carbon dioxide each year (based on 3kg of waste/week). With the nutrients and supported soil health, you’ll be able to store 40kg of carbon dioxide each year when the soil is added to a garden or house plants.

These carbon offsets are significant. Composting with Lomi is the same as planting 2,690 trees each year! 

The only way to waste Lomi earth

There’s really only one way that you can do more harm than good with your Lomi earth, and that’s sending it to landfills. We do not recommend putting your Lomi earth in a landfill bound trash can. Especially if your home doesn’t run on renewable energy.

Our research has found that sending your Lomi earth to landfill, while powering your Lomi with non-renewable energy can increase your carbon footprint. Learn more about the carbon footprint impacts of the Lomi here.

While it may seem harmless to send organic matter to landfills, it can actually be really detrimental to the planet’s health.

When organic waste breaks down in landfills, it releases methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas that’s 84x more potent than carbon dioxide. This is because organic matter isn’t given the proper conditions to break down (like in a Lomi composter). Rather, it's sandwiched between non-biodegradable resources and pressed into unhealthy soil that leads to methane emissions.

Choosing to do more with our organic waste can make a huge difference in our soil health and greenhouse gas emissions. 

Lomi earth can improve the health of your garden and house plants

Lomi with scraps

Pela was founded to help reduce the amount of plastic that ended up in the ocean. Lomi has been an invaluable addition to the Pela family, because it allows us to close the loop on our products. When you buy a product, like sunglasses or a phone case, you can place them in your Lomi at the end of their life.

The Lomi will break down the bioplastics, and any other organic waste in the composter. You’ll have nutrient rich soil that improves the health of your soil, your plants, and the planet.

We know that Lomi will be an invaluable addition to your home, too. We’re especially proud that the Lomi Grow mode output is like an organic fertilizer that you can mix in with your regular soil to aid your plants and soil microbiology.

The Lomi can also reduce your carbon footprint, is smell free, and easy to use. Learn more about the benefits of adding Lomi to your home.