I have always been eager to find ways to be less wasteful. In 2007, I dressed as a “Go-Green Girl” for Halloween. Although I wasn’t emulating a known character like my friends, this gesture was symbolic of my identification with sustainable living and trying to learn as much as possible about climate change.
Composting has been on my periphery for a while. I started outdoor composting at our new home in Chicago last year and got a taste of the experience. While the experience was positive overall, I had a decent-sized learning curve that took me a few months to overcome.
I wished for an easier way to compost and knew I wanted an indoor composter in July of last year. Still, I needed more time to make the financial investment. So I sent a link to my husband asking him to buy me a Lomi as a Christmas gift.
To his surprise, I still wanted one several months later. The Lomi was shipped about two weeks before Christmas, and I wrapped it and placed it under the tree. I talked to my kids in depth about how we would recycle more in 2023 and create our own compost from our kitchen scraps. Although they had no idea how that could be possible, it sparked some intrigue. Several weeks in, they are excited to put their banana peels, egg shells, and other leftover food scrap waste into the Lomi as a part of their daily tasks.
Lomi is an encouraging way to teach my kids about taking care of the environment at home – and I look forward to planting with our homegrown soil come spring.
So what is a Lomi Composter? This article will review the Lomi, its difference from traditional composting methods, what you can and can’t put into it, how long it takes to compost, and much more.
What is a Lomi Composter?
Before Lomi, the only indoor composting I was aware of up until then was the kind you needed to buy worms for (pretty gross, but it would make a fantastic science experience for the kids).
But the Lomi is a composting game-changer.
Lomi is an electrical composter that sits on your kitchen counter and turns your food waste into nutrient-rich soil within a day or less. What other forms of composting take six months to do was now possible with a few easy steps and the press of a button. Even my kids can do this (and without a substantial outdoor compost bin or a shovel to turn and re-oxygenate the compost over every other day. We conveniently toss our food waste into the Lomi and turn it on when it’s full and ready to go.
What is the Difference Between A Lomi and a Regular Composter?
Lomi solves daily household food waste problems without utilizing other more cumbersome composting methods. There is a valuable place for each type of composting; however, the Lomi is compact, simple, and creates compost very quickly, unlike other larger-scale compost methods.
A few benifits that set Lomi apart from other types of composting include the following:
- It is an indoor counter composter
- It works within hours to less than a day
- Less smell
- You don’t have to worry about outside rodents getting into your compost.
The Lomi device breaks down food waste using oxygen, heat, and abrasion. It also creates soil-like fragments with a powerful grinder.
To keep it simple, we’ve gathered a few bullet points about the different ways to compost:
Onsite composting is typically done with a “composting pile” made with yard trimmings and small amounts of food scraps. Sometimes organizations that wish to lighten their carbon footprint choose this route. Acceptable materials for this composting method include small quantities of food scraps and yard trimmings. This method also requires manual turning to speed up the composting process and takes a minimum of three to six months.
Red worms digest food scraps, yard waste, and other organic matter, and then, voila! High-quality compost! A large batch of worms is required to make this composting happen, but when they do, the process can move along more quickly. About 900 mature worms can eat up to a half pound of organic material per day and generate a type of compost called castings. Vermicomposting takes about three or four months to produce usable compost castings.
Last summer, I started using an in-vessel composter that I bought on amazon: a dual-chamber outdoor compost tumbler. My bin was ample for the amount of food waste we created at home. However, it was still practical and a tremendous first composting experience. Mine is about three and a half feet wide and holds about 15 gallons, although I never got it even close to that full. This composter is easy to use, with a mechanical turner to mix the material. It takes about a month or more to produce compost.
Aerated Windrow Composting
Aerated windrow composting typically involves entire communities, high-volume food businesses, or restaurants. This type of composting requires a lot of space where food waste is placed in long piles called “windrows. Pile heights reach as high as 15 or more feet, and the massive amount of material is large enough to generate heat to start the composting process.
Aerated Static Pile Composting
This is another type of outdoor large-pile composting. A large pile of bulking materials, such as shredded cardboard or wood chips, helps aerate the compost. One of the benefits is that it doesn’t require turning. However, this composting method requires observation to ensure that the core and the outside of the pile generate equal heat levels.
What Can You Put in A Lomi?
Lomi can handle various compostable items, including most food waste. Some Lomi-approved products include:
- Coffee grounds
- Food leftovers
- Meat scraps
- Eggs and eggshells
- Soft peels
- Grains and oats
- Yard trimmings
- House plants
- Lomi Approved bioplastics, paper products, and packaging.
Items to never put in your Lomi include:
- Hard shells
- Hard bones
- Fruit pits
- Hygiene products
- Plastic lined bags
- Butter and cooking oil
Check out the Lomi website for a more comprehensive list of Lomi-approved and non-approved food waste.
How Long Does It Take The Lomi to Compost?
Traditional composting methods can take many months for food and yard waste to decompose in large outdoor piles. Turning compost can help speed up the process, but it is still time-consuming. Outdoor tumblers can make compost magic happen more quickly. However, you are still looking at a month at a minimum with regular compost turning.
Lomi, however, works as quickly as a few hours! There are three settings:
- Eco Express: 3-5 hours (good for adding to compost as a starter)
- The Grow Mode: 16-20 hours (Microb-rich compost for healthy gardens and plants)
- Lomi Approved Mode: 5-8 hours (breaks down certified bioplastics)
Pros of a Lomi
- Creates nutrient-rich soil with microorganisms, aeration, heat, and moisture
- Helps your plants grow
- Easy to use
- Easy to move, only 22 pounds
- Easy to clean
- Can compost more types of food waste than other composting methods (including meat and Lomi-approved bioplastics!)
- Indoor composting year round
- Great for city living or those with little space
- Dishwasher safe bucket
- Low learning curve – keep the food waste below the overflow line, lock the lid, and press a button
Cons of Lomi
- Price (as of Jan 2020, it costs just shy of $500)
Tips for Lomi
Like any composting method, you have to set yourself up for success. To get the most out of your Lomi, you should know a few helpful tips:
- It helps to cut or tear waste into smaller pieces to help enable the process along
- The harder and dryer the waste is, the longer it takes to break down.
- Don’t add hard pits, such as an avocado pit, as it could break your device
- Only add Lomi-approved scraps
Is a Lomi Worth the Investment?
If composting is important to you, a Lomi may make sense – especially if you don’t have a lot of living space or a food scrap composting service in your city. This device has helped me almost eliminate food waste from our home. I no longer feel terrible because a bag of lettuce or other veggies went bad. After all, I can compost it (I try not to let that happen, but I’m human, what can I say?)
I try and avoid excess food waste when possible and use Lomi for the rest of my scraps. We already have a batch of nutrient-rich soil to add to our garden come spring!
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