Imagine your life without food waste. Your kitchen wouldn’t smell, your garbage wouldn’t leak, you’d take out the trash half as often, and your carbon footprint would plummet. Unfortunately, food waste and scraps are inevitable. However, life without the pains of food waste is possible.
Composting is a method of dealing with food scraps while turning waste into a valuable product. When food waste is broken down in compost, healthy microbes digest the organic material to create a nutrient and carbon-rich soil-like material which can be used as fertilizer.
Lomi, a revolutionary kitchen composter, does all this at the click of a button. Let’s compare Lomi to traditional at-home composting methods.
Feel free to jump ahead to get your questions answered:
- What is Lomi?
- Lomi vs. backyard compost: The key differences
- What can go in Lomi but not traditional compost?
- What can go in traditional compost but not Lomi?
- Should ‘browns’ be used in both Lomi and Traditional compost?
- Difference in environmental impact
- The bottom line: Lomi vs. traditional composting
Let’s dive into the similarities and differences!
What is Lomi?
Lomi is an electric composter that turns your food waste into natural fertilizer in just a few hours. It sits quietly on your countertop while working its magic. With three modes to choose from–Eco-Express, Grow, and Lomi Approved–Lomi is designed to give you the perfect end result. Lomi dirt from Grow mode is optimized to be used directly in your garden, houseplants, or on your lawn.
How does it work? Lomi induces the natural stages of composting by using heat and mechanical energy to break down food waste quickly. Increased surface area from mechanical breakdown allows microbes to access the organic material faster and speed up decomposition.
Lomi vs. Backyard Compost: The key differences
There are many differences between using a Lomi and developing an at-home composting practice. Many of these distinctions explain why most people don’t compost, but would love a Lomi!
The first key difference between Lomi and traditional composting is the effort required. Composting isn’t always easy–you have to set up your compost pile, let it grow, turn it regularly, monitor it to know when it’s finished, and more. Not to mention, this requires a learning curve and a lot of Googling. If you want a bin that makes turning easier, it’s going to run you over $100.
Lomi gives you great results without any of the work. Simply put food waste and scraps in Lomi, close the lid, and push the button. That’s it. Plus, it runs quietly at less than 60db, which is about the same as a fridge.
Another main differentiator between Lomi and composting is the smell. Compost sometimes smells, especially if not managed properly. Without mixing or proper aeration, food waste breaks down anaerobically and releases smelly fumes similar to the landfill.
Lomi, on the other hand, is completely odor-neutralized with a dual-activated carbon filter system. The filters capture all fumes from food waste, including those with potential airborne contaminants. Lomi captures all smells before and during the cycle.
Imagine if there was a composter that could break down food in 5 hours. Oh wait, it exists! This might seem impossible, but Lomi cycles range from just 4-20 hours, depending on the mode you choose. Want a speedy cycle? Go for Eco-Express and have Lomi dirt in 4-8 hours. Need fertilizer for your garden? Throw it on Grow mode for a 10-20 hour cycle.
On the flip side, traditional composting cannot be accelerated and therefore takes weeks or months to complete. This means a long waiting time for usable compost. It also means you have to be able to identify when compost is done, which can be tricky. Not to mention, it’s hard to engage kids in the composting process on this long timeframe.
Composting is simply not feasible for some households due to the size requirement. The average compost pile requires 3-feet by 5-feet of outdoor space. Typically, a backyard is needed to provide this space. In apartment buildings or homes without large outdoor spaces, this almost rules out traditional composting.
Lomi is designed to sit on your countertop, blending in with your kitchen while looking sleek. It is perfect for apartment buildings and those without a large space for a compost pile.
Traditional composting attracts all kinds of animals, from raccoons and coyotes to mice and flies. This is one large downside of backyard composting. It’s hard to keep animals away from the smell of food, and once they’ve found the source, they’re a hassle to get rid of.
Lomi prevents the attraction of large animals, rodents, and insects. Since it is odor-neutralized, Lomi doesn’t let out any smells that would draw those animals in. As an added bonus, Lomi can actually reduce the amount of flies and rodents in your home, since food waste is no longer rotting in the garbage.
So… Lomi is just magical composting? Kind of, but let’s get into some more differences.
What can go in Lomi but not into your home compost?
Lomi’s powerful technology is capable of breaking down some items that traditional home composting cannot. This is thanks to the advanced grinder, usage of heat, and increased surface area for microbial biodegradation.
Some of these items include:
- Citrus peels
Lomi breaks down animal products and Lomi Approved compostables, such as bioplastics and packaging, seamlessly. This is something you can’t achieve in regular compost. Note that when adding bioplastics to a Lomi cycle, we do not recommend using the end product in soil as bioplastics sometimes contain add-ins that are not beneficial for plant growth.
What can go into home compost but not Lomi?
Lomi is powerful, but there are some items that should never be put in a Lomi cycle, despite being traditionally compostable.
These items include:
- Human or animal waste
- Cooked potatoes
- Popcorn kernels
Human and animal waste should not be put into Lomi to prevent health hazards, as Lomi is being used inside the home and the end product can be used for indoor plants. Cooked potatoes and liquids should not be added to Lomi to make sure Lomi dirt is the desired texture. Hard items such as popcorn kernels simply won’t break down in Lomi’s timeframe.
Should ‘browns’ be used in both Lomi and home compost?
‘Browns’ are compostable materials that help add bulk and carbon to your compost. They provide energy for microorganisms which help break down food waste. Browns typically include dry leaves, woodchips, newspaper, cardboard, and more.
Browns are recommended in traditional composting because the microbial life, speed of decomposition, and final texture can be unpredictable without them. Lomi is fine-tuned and controlled, meaning browns are not necessary in most cycles.
To make sure that only truly compostable items are being added to Lomi, Pela has created a list of Lomi Approved compostables that have passed our research and testing phases. Paper and cardboard that is not Lomi Approved should not be added. Dry leaves and cut up yard waste are always welcome in Lomi.
Difference in environmental impact
A large driver to try composting is the environmental impact. Throwing out food waste is extremely environmentally detrimental; the waste is hauled to the landfill in a diesel truck where it breaks down anaerobically to produce methane, a greenhouse gas with 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide.
Composting, on the other hand, is an aerobic process which doesn’t produce methane. Dealing with your food waste at home also zeros out the transport emissions! Traditional composting has a very small environmental footprint. It is arguably the most environmentally friendly way to deal with food waste, especially if the compost is used effectively.
The difference in environmental footprint between Lomi and traditional composting comes from Lomi’s electricity usage. Lomi uses up to 1 kWh of electricity per cycle. In the US, that's about the equivalent of driving your car for 1.1 miles. In Canada, where electricity is greener on average, that’s the equivalent of driving 0.3 miles, or 480 meters. Lomi is designed to make composting accessible and is a great environmental alternative for those who can’t or won’t try traditional composting, for the many reasons listed above.
The bottom line: Lomi vs. backyard composting
At the end of the day, your method of composting is a personal choice! If you have time, space, and energy for composting, try traditional methods. Keep in mind that this may also come with unwanted odors and pests.
For anyone who doesn’t have the capacity to set up a backyard composting pile, Lomi is the best way to manage food waste. It creates a smell-free, hassle-free kitchen, all while sitting quietly on your countertop. In terms of what can go into Lomi vs. traditional composting, the largest difference is that Lomi allows you to compost bioplastics.
So, if you don’t already have a backyard compost pile (or chickens), it’s probably time for you to try out Lomi!
Written by: Cassia Attard