Composting can be a big undertaking. It’s a long, smelly process usually best done in an outdoor space. Dividing organic food waste at home for a green bin can become odorous both inside and outside your home. It’s no wonder that only 28% of Americans compost their food waste. But 67% of those who don’t compost say they would start if it were more convenient.
Enter Lomi, the $499 kitchen countertop composter from Pela. With Lomi, Pela hopes to make dividing and composting waste more compact, mess and odor-free, and a speedier process than before. In as little as three hours, Lomi transforms organic waste into practically odor-free dirt. In 16 to 20 hours, it produces rich fertilizer that can be used for potting plants or nourishing a garden.
After spending two weeks using the Lomi, I can report that it does what it’s supposed to, felt great to cut down on my carbon footprint — and I had fun with it, too.
To see it in action, check out my full video review of the Lomi at-home composter above.
The benefits of composting
Composting reduces the amount of methane gasses released at the landfill. Whether you’re using Lomi’s soil for your garden or throwing it away, the condensed scraps in the trash or a green bin will have a positive environmental impact.
With laws requiring residents and businesses to divide their waste for green bins or compost on their own popping up, like this one in California, a countertop composter could be a great way to manage organic waste and smelly bins.
How does the Lomi composter work?
Over the two weeks I used Lomi, it took anywhere from three to six days to fill the bucket with kitchen scraps. Lomi does a great job of containing smell; even when the bucket reeked of old food, there was no leakage as long as the lid was covered. This is also thanks to the activated carbon located in its two filters. (These filters need to be replaced every three to six months, depending on use.)
Also included with Lomi is a bag of 45 LomiPods. These tablets are a proprietary blend of probiotics and are added to the waste to improve the speed of degradation, reduce smell and create the healthiest soil output to add to plants. The LomiPods are used during two of the three compost cycles.
The at-home composter fits your countertop
Lomi weighs 22 pounds and measures 16 inches wide by 12 inches high, so you should have no trouble storing it on a countertop or in cabinets. It can compost over 30% of what you’re already throwing away. Here’s a full list of everything that can (and cannot) go in Lomi. The machine is also energy-efficient: Each cycle uses just 0.6 to 1 kWh of electricity, which would cost the average US household about 14 cents per use.
Lomi’s grow mode produces nutrient-dense soil for your potted plants and garden.
GIF by Justin Eastzer/CNET
It has three compost modes
Eco-express is the fastest way to compost (three to five hours) and produces dirt that should go directly into a green bin or trash. There’s also Lomi Approved mode (five to eight hours), which accepts Lomi approved bioplastics and compostable consumer goods in addition to food waste. This dirt should also go in a bin. Lastly, there’s Lomi Grow mode (16 to 20 hours), which turns Lomi’s waste into nutrient-rich soil for potted plants or gardens.
Side effects of composting include feeling good about doing your part.
How much does Lomi cost, and where can I get it?
Convenient composting won’t come cheap. Lomi costs $499, and Pela recommends its two-year membership for LomiPod and activated carbon refills ($39 every three months).
Currently, Lomi is available to order in the US and Canada. For those living internationally, you’ll need to wait until September.
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