I’ve been seeing ads for them, but I’m not convinced that they are advantageous for anyone.
I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos lately. A lot of those videos are sponsored. I’m not a fan of sponsorships, but you have to make ends meet somehow. Some sponsors are outfits that I would never ever want to work with, due to my experience with them. (Yes, I’m looking at you, BetterHelp.) Some, however, are unknown to me. The Lomi electric composter falls into the latter category.
What does this have to do with my autism? I think among the autistic traits that autistic people share, there’s a healthy dose of skepticism regarding advertisements. Moreover, we are liable to detect when people are lying to us. Some advertisements are not lies, but other advertisements are lies, either conscious or unconscious lies. I’m this type of autistic person.
What is the Lomi? It is an electric composter that you can use in your home. It looks and sounds great in theory. The hosts of the videos I watch wax poetic about how it revolutionized their waste management, etc. For my part, I really fail to see how advantageous that device really is. Again, the hosts have to make ends meet, so they are going to wax poetic about anything that pays the bills, reality be damned. As far as I’m concerned, these hosts are beclowning themselves when they wax poetic about devices like the Lomi.
So what’s my problem with the Lomi, and with electric composters in general?
I’ll point out here that I’ve never owned a Lomi, or any device similar to it. I did compost, however. As I recall, my-ex wife and I had outside composters at both the two marital houses we owned together. Our setup was to have a small bin with a charcoal filter inside the house to collect the food scraps. We would periodically empty it into a composter sitting in our yard. After a substantial amount of time had elapsed, the end result was used in our garden. We owned several such composters. Some of them were actually given to us.
The beauty of our setup is that you can compost for really cheap. The cost for the entire setup is easily a fraction of the cost of a Lomi. As we speak, the base Lomi model is $499. You can also buy it with a subscription at $399, then they charge you $60 every three months. For the sake of comparison, I’m going to consider the cost if you buy it outright, without a subscription. The setup my ex-wife and I had could have been around $120 at most. I obtained this price by doing a quick search online. Consider that some places can sell you the indoor compost bit and the outdoor one for cheaper than the prices I found, or that some of these things can be given to you, like ours was.
(Can a Lomi be given to you? In theory? Sure. In practice? I don’t know a lot of people who’d give out a $499 device for the heck of it.)
The cost above does not consider the total operating cost of the device, either. The setup that my ex-wife and I had needed no electricity whatsoever. The Lomi, however, does use electricity. So this adds to the total cost of operations. I don’t know by how much, however. The Lomi also requires periodic filter replacements, and periodic Lomi pods replacement. The setup I had with my wife required us to replace the charcoal filter in the indoor bin, but I don’t recall changing it. These filters are also extremely cheap compared to the Lomi’s filters and Lomi pods.
Another problem with the Lomi is the sizeable space it takes. It seems to me that if you live in a large enough domicile that you can have a Lomi inside, then you probably have enough space outside to have an outdoors composter. Post divorce, I’m in a small apartment where I definitely do not have the real estate for a Lomi. Moreover, you need to consider that if you do get a Lomi, the space taken by it is no longer available to another, and perhaps more useful device.
These are my own off-the-cuff impression, after having seen ads for the Lomi. I did a bit of research after writing my initial impressions here, and I did find a page written by someone who has purchased a Lomi. Guess what? They agree with me! Here is the page:
This page covers electric kitchen composters, in general, but Jen Panaro did buy the Lomi in order to form her opinion about these devices. She gives you six reasons not to buy these devices. I’m going to summarize here, but I do invite you to read her excellent article. She went pretty deep into why you should not buy those devices. In brief,
- They do not actually produce compost. I was surprised by this one, but it makes sense. They produce food scraps that you then have to compost. Moreover, most people won’t be able to use the output of these devices, period! Read the article for details!
- They are expensive. Yep, I’ve discussed it above.
- They take up space. Yep, I’ve discussed it above.
- They are noisy. Again, I find this surprising. I’ll mention here that the setup that my ex-wife and I used was silent. This could be a big problem for me, in addition to the other problems.
- Their output smells.
- They are complicated to operate. I can’t talk much about this, except to say that cleaning up the indoor bin in the setup we had at the marital house was extremely easy: empty bin, fill bin with warm soapy water, let sit, dump the water, wipe clean, dry.
Jen Panaro mentions people who appear to swear by the device, but I’m wondering how much experience they have with composting because I fail to see what there is to love about those electric composters. She also mentions alternatives for people who live in small apartments, like giving your scraps to someone who already does outdoors composting, or having a service come and pick up your compost.
It seems to me that these electric composters are solutions in search of a problem. Jen Panaro even talks of “greenwashing.” I have to agree with her. People desire to do the right thing, and a company comes about with something like electric composters. Buy the device, and fell good about yourself, even if you haven’t really solved anything.
Here’s the Lomi website: