Brad Pedersen of Lomi explains that the missing link to a more sustainable planet is for us to be able to build a compostable clean economy. We need to change the habits that are creating disruption. Take your food waste and turn it into a regenerative soil supplement.
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We're interdependent with each other for not only survival, but actually creating a, a better, more abundant future.
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everything is created twice.
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First in your mind and then in reality.Catherine:
Well, guess what it is.Catherine:
Well, happy Birthday to our wonderful planet Earth.Catherine:
How are you celebrating Earth Day?Catherine:
Well, I bet you celebrate Earth Day every day with sustainable choices, and I'd love to hear what you're doing.Catherine:
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you are doing or email me.Catherine:
I'd love to hear how you are celebrating Earth Day every day.Catherine:
And being that Earth Day is every day should you decide to purchase a Lomi, write this discount code down Y P I Podcast.Catherine:
No spaces YPIpodcast happy Earth Day every day.Catherine:
Hello, I'm Catherine, your host of this variety show podcast.Catherine:
Your positive imprint is transforming how we live today for a more sustainable tomorrow through education and information.Catherine:
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C H R I S N O L E Thank you again for listening and for your support of this podcast,Catherine:
your positive imprint.Catherine:
What's your PI?Catherine:
there's a way for you to compost food scraps and even compostable plastics.Catherine:
My guest today, Brad Pedersen of British Columbia, Canada, is transforming how we live today for a better, more sustainable future through combating food-waste, while stillCatherine:
Well, He is one of the co-founders of Lomi, and Brad is committed to creating a waste-free future, and I just love that transformation that he is providing for all of us for a better tomorrow.Catherine:
Well, Brad, also known as the "startup Santa" has an entrepreneurial background in the business of toys.Catherine:
He is from the north, which makes him a real world toy maker from the far north.Catherine:
Brad Pedersen, thank you so much for being here on your positive imprint
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what a great introduction, Catherine.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:03:17
I'm very, uh, honored to be a part of your show.
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Had a chance to listen to some of the episodes and, and inspiring to hear the positive imprint that people are making all around the planet, for things for the planet or for people and just in betterment overall.
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And, uh, yeah, I am the real toy maker from the north.
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I just don't have as big a beard or belly as one that you know of.
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So yeah, grateful to be here.Catherine:
Oh, well thank you.Catherine:
And everything that was said in the intro is just a piece of what you are about.Catherine:
Brad, you have just an incredible background and we were talking before the show and, and you said you just feltCatherine:
so privileged to be in the world today in providing these positive imprints, and I'm so glad that you see it as your privilege to serve the world and the needs of the planet.Catherine:
So thank you.Catherine:
Brad's experiences as an entrepreneur and business owner have been life changingCatherine:
of learning experiences that move Brad forwardCatherine:
In last week's episode 201, Brad talked about his toy manufacturing business with his awesome discussion.Catherine:
On top line is vanity.Catherine:
Bottom line, sanity and cash flow is reality.Catherine:
aside from that, he learned something else that was not just life changing for himself, but transformative for planet Earth,
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over my lifetime of building a business, we've shipped billions of pieces of toys and plastics around the planet,
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Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:05:04
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Mastery is found on the mountaintop of mistakes
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I, maybe I'll start there cause I think that'll be helpful for context in terms of transitioning from the toy business into, um, this opportunity about building a sustainable enterprise.
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So I exited the toy business in 2017.
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I loved my time in the toy business, you know, 27 years there.
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And it was an incredible journey.
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Some incredible relationships and ultimately it's very inspiring and aspiring to create things that put smiles on kids' faces, like it brings a lot of happiness.
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, the conflicting side of the toy business is incredibly wasteful.
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It's a hundred billion dollar , uh, year industry.
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, most toys end up within landfill within 90 days.
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And people are always shocked to hear that, but I remind them, no, I'm not referring to Lego or Tonka or things that you're gonna have for a long period of time.
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What I'm referring to is those novelty toys that you see at the checkout counters that, , usually last for a short period of time and or break, wear out and then end up in the garbage bin and then end up in landfill.
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And that's the vast majority of, of where, where the toy business is.
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So, , I have been.
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The environment has always been something very near and dear to my heart.
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, growing up in, you know, a very beautiful part of Canada, , and just seeing wilderness and the beauty around us, I always felt a real sense of connectedness and a responsibility of stewardship to it.
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, I was also one of those fathers who was militant about ensuring my kids recycled.
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If they put stuff in the garbage can, I would be pulling stuff and putting into the recycle bin.
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, so I just always had this sense of that.
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And then as I went into the toy business and spent time in Asia in particular, , most of our products were made in Southeast Asia.
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, it was awesome, but it was also very conflicting.
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Like incredible adventures, incredible experiences, learned a ton.
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But again, understanding just sort of the, the origins of the business and where ultimately things landed it, it felt incredibly wasteful.
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So when I left the toy business, I was given the opportunity to really kind of reconsider what I wanted to do when I, when I grew up.
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And, , I sort of landed on sort of three principles.
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, the first was, is that I was gonna put my life plan before my business plan, which is incredibly hard to do.
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The toy business is fast paced.
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You don't really get a chance to take a breath if you have successful product for a minute.
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It, it, it is only a minute, and then, and then you gotta replace it with something else or come up with something better.
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So I, I'd always had a very sort of frantic pace to my life and I wanted to be able to reverse it and put my life plan first.
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Second was, uh, only awesome people.
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I, I find that, you know, Warren Buffett's principle of, , you can't do bad deals with good people and good deals with bad people is so true.
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People first find people that , that become your engine instead of your anchors help to accelerate you forward.
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And third was only impact.
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I only wanted to do things that mattered that ultimately had some enduring values.
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So I recognize that that's kind of on the, the top rung of Maslow's hierarchy of needs that I got a chance to think about how do we, uh, create legacy.
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But that's where I was in life.
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I was at a place where I only wanna choose to invest in things that ultimately, , create impact.
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So the opportunity came along for me to become a co-founder in a, a brand called Pela Case.
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And Pela Case are, , phone cases made out of bio composites that are compostable.
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And I didn't really know much about the, the phone accessories industry, but I did understand it was a pretty big industry because every year there's new phones that come out and, and
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Things like phone cases are made out of these really durable materials, plastic materials.
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So, you know, you make them, it lasts for a couple years, someone gets an upgrade, and now that case, which was made out of a material that's incredibly resilient and durable is going to landfill.
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And so, uh, the original founder, Jeremy, was inspired by how could we do a more sustainable phone case?
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And so he created the phone case and we ended up seeing incredible growth as we work together.
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There's three co-founders.
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Jeremy is the, original, , founder.
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Matt is the second in, and then I'm the third.
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And we, we kind of look at each other as you know, um, Jeremy's the heart, Matt's the brains, and I'm the muscle.
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That's how we've referred to our partnership and it just comes down to I have experience.
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Matt is incredibly smart and incredibly gifted marketer, and then Jeremy really has this passion for, , material science and finding better ways to do things.
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Fast forward to that we've shipped millions of these phone cases into the market, and one of the issues we're coming up with is, Our primary customers, which tend to be bicoastal,
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So they're at the end of their life with our cases and saying, Hey, where do you, you want me to put this?
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And since we don't have readily accessible composting facilities yet in the country, there was no way for us to really, uh, direct them in a way that's meaningful.
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So often we would get them to send 'em back to us, and then we would provide the end of life either to grind it up and use it again into more phone cases and or go to industrial
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And as we thought about this further, we said there's no way we can accelerate this compostable clean economy unless we have a distributed model to allow people to look after this problem on their own.
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And that is really the impetus for how we went down the path of creating Lomi, is we said we wanted to have a way that we could give an end of life to our compostable products.
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And along that journey we discovered that, organics in general are a problem.
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It's not just compostable, uh, bio composites.
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It's like food waste, that there's a even a bigger issue with that.
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Uh, we discovered that, , close to half of what's goes into our, our, our waste bins every day is food waste.
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And when food waste goes to landfill, it's covered anaerobically, it breaks down, produces methane gas, which is up to 80 times more potent than CO2 emissions.
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And so that on its own was a massive problem.
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, in fact, I think, , the, , United Nations has cited that, if we could just solve for food waste, we literally would buy ourself a significant amount of time to solve the
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So, , today we develop Lomi, which is an electronic kitchen composter, and it magically turns organic waste into a regenerative soil supplement and it does it while you sleep.
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And that includes both your food waste as well as your compostables.
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It's something that is super inspiring.
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, when we are trying to create this waste free future that we've imagined, we think that this piece of infrastructure is the missing sort of, um, unlock that will allow things to propagate it.
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And what's really exciting is that the consumers who are using it, , have given us incredible feedback about how transformative it is to the way that they, their habits in their kitchen.
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And on the other side industry who's making compostable plastics are saying this is the chain, the game changer that allows us to actually start moving into, into this, this direction.
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Cause as I was listening to the.
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Your interview with the family from the, , the Sea Monkey Project.
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, you know, they talked about their biggest issue is the single use plastics that they show up just over and over again throughout the oceans.
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And the only way we're gonna actually solve it is if we have a way to give those products when they're put into a organic biocomposite an end of life that
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And this is what nature, this is the way that God created things, right?
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I mean, everything that is used and dies becomes useful again.
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It is a cyclical economy, is the way it was designed.
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And yet we've propagated this idea over the last a hundred years of this make take, use waste, linear economy.
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But you know, awareness is the first step.
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I think we've become aware that this is non-sustainable.
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The oceans tell us that every day, our landfills are all 80% capacity.
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So the only way we can make a better future is by going back to what got intended in terms of this circular economy where everything that's wasteful becomes fuel for the next, uh, next life.
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That's, uh, coming.Catherine:
Absolutely interesting how you have come full circle, actually not just your thoughts, but because of your interactions with, plastics and that awareness.Catherine:
So now Lomi, which is l o m i.Catherine:
So Lomi would, does that have a meaning?
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Well, LOME is a type of soil.
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, to be honest with you, it was simple.
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It's a bit of a, an earworm.
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People can remember it.
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, it's cute.
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, we wanted Lomi to be a family, participatory sort of project that this is something that kids would be fascinated by.
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the first time you use it, The words that we get most often used are magic.
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People can't believe that they put in their waste, they hit this button, they come back a few hours later and they look inside and it's gone down to 20% of the
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Lomi was the, the best word we could come up with to describe, , ultimately the kind of output you're gonna get from this, but also just easy for people to remember and, uh, would, would resonate with the brand.Catherine:
Now you mentioned Sea Monkey Project, so theyCatherine:
are really working hard at keeping the microplastics out of the ocean, which most of, not all, but a lot of the microplastics are because of the single use plastics that just continue to break down and break down.Catherine:
They're just, they're not going to decompose.Catherine:
They're just going to com continue to break down into micro.Catherine:
So what I saw on your website, Lomi website, Lomi.com is that you have partnered.Catherine:
Uh, with researchers to actually research these items that we as consumers are buying.Catherine:
I can go to one of the stores down the road and pick up compostable straws or compostable forks, spoons, knives, et cetera.Catherine:
But how do I know they're compostable?Catherine:
Well, guess what?Catherine:
Lomi.com has some of the information on some of these products, and I was really happy to see some of them listed there that I use, uh, that actually are compostable.Catherine:
So with Lomi, you can't just put.Catherine:
A, uh, you know, regular 100% plastic spoon in it because it'll just turn it into micro.Catherine:
So how does a person know, I'm sure the instructions are there, but how does a person know what, maybe put into Lomi so that it's not being turned into microplastic and then put onto your lawn?
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Yeah, that's a great question.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:16:07
Well, let's just say that it's still early days, but we wanna make this very simple from the user perspective, , we have, , over the last 30 years become very confused about recycling.
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I agree that is very true.
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And, you know, I, I think, think back on terms of as a business owner, How we would actually, look at a project, whether it's viable or not.
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We would say recycling based on what we know today is not viable.
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Now I'm a fan of recycling.
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I just wanna be clear.
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The principle, the idea is right, like world peace as a principle.
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It's, it's the right idea.
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Yet we've never known a world of peace, just like we've never known, , recycling to be actually effective.
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Less than 10% of the recycling in North America gets recycled again, which means the law of dimension returns says it never happens twice.
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And after 30 years of practicing, you would think it'd be a lot better.
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So, we are learning from that.
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Cause if you don't learn from your history, you're condemned to repeat it.
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And so for us, what we're saying is that, look, if we have this sort of mixed history with recycling., we know the one thing for sure is people are gonna waste.
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So let's make it easy for them to understand what is, , can be.
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Properly compostable and can be composted in the Lomi infrastructure.
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So we have a Lomi approved, , program, which you would've seen on our website.
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And literally we've taken products that have been submitted to us by suppliers and we've put them in the machine.
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We've tested the efficacy of how it breaks down in the machine, and then the post analysis of the soil, like what ends up being in the soil.
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Cause again, the greatest concern that we hear is microplastics.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:17:42
And you're right, but I also wanna delineate there's a difference between petroleum based plastics and, uh, biopolymers.
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So, you know, we're not taking petroleum based plastics and throwing them into Lomi, that would just result in microplastics and that does not do anything good for our planet.
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What we're focused on is suppliers who actually are making bio composites, things that organic or have the organic, , base built into them to break down into an inert soil.
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And ultimately, everything we've tested, , that's lomi approved actually, , meets those requirements.
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And the output is a healthy soil, healthy regenerative soil supplement, something that actually you can garden with.
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You can, like I do, I have my lawn is probably the envy of the neighborhood.
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Yeah, super green.
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Um, but I will say that beyond that, we're not just testing the, the output.
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We actually take the output and we go to farms.
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We've partnered with the University of Toronto as well as with a local farm here who produces vegetables for, , a home shelter.
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And the results, , I think you can find some that post on our website, but it's, it's literally mind blowing when you take a look at plants without fertilizer, plants,
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It is night and day, you can actually see the Lomi vegetables are significantly fuller.
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, the leaves are, are greener.
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, , to us that's the most exciting part that we're proving what we believe to always be true.
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That everything is supposed to be fuel again, and a natural fuel from the foods that we're using, as well as if the biocontents are, are made from the materials that, are truly organic,
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So, but I would say early days we expect that you will see more and more cause we continue to test and actually we've had an incredible amount of
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So you can only expect that that will continue to grow.
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And, and I would fully expect that in the future there'll be a marketplace of just lomi approved items.
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Things you know that you can buy, that you can use, that your lomi and feel good about it.
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When I put my stuff in the recycling bin, I do it because it's the right thing to do, but I'm always suspect like, is it really gonna get recycled?
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Or here you will have the physical evidence that it actually was processed, it turned into something healthy, and in fact, use it in your backyard if you choose to.
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Cuz it's, it's something of value.
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People will ask, is it truly compost?
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And what we wanna be clear on is that this is a part of the process of becoming compost.
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Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:20:21
We accelerate it, we create the perfect environment, we add energy into, , this unit to create this environment that breaks things down.
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And again, the obvious things are food waste, Lomi approved, obviously, and then anything else that you might have that's organic.
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One of the questions come up, what about our dog waste.
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For the moment, that's not, , acceptable and it is something we're working on.
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I will say that's more of a pH issue in terms of the output.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:20:47
. Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1: Yeah.Catherine:
Heat is really the way that you can, You can to get rid of certain pathogens you use heat, but too much heat now you get rid of good things as well.Catherine:
So we want to be mindful of that.Catherine:
And uh, the best way to address it is with the Lomi pods.Catherine:
So we are developing pods or supplements that you put in.Catherine:
Uh, we, we call 'em probiotics.Catherine:
So pods, probiotics for soil, they add the microbes in that help the digestion process, the breakdown of the materials inside.Catherine:
, and then we get asked the question, well, do you need pods?Catherine:
And I'm like, well, No, you don't.Catherine:
I mean, you can run your dishwasher without a dish soap detergent in there and things will be cleaner.Catherine:
But the cleanest dishes will come from putting a detergent pod in.Catherine:
Same with your, your washing machine.Catherine:
So, uh, no different than that.Catherine:
Our pods are designed and will continue to be designed to break down and create, help create the, the proper aerobic breakdown process, and they provide the microbes to do that.Catherine:
And we're coming up with customized versions of these that you'll see in the coming months that allow us to address different types of materials that might be even harder.Catherine:
How, how large, by the way, is Lomi?Catherine:
Can it go under a counter?Catherine:
Does it, do you wheel it?
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:22:07
So it's meant to be a countertop appliance.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:22:09
Um, and, uh, you know, it's something that you could put under there's no, no problem if you have a plug-in under your sink.
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Some people put their scrap buckets there, so it definitely could go there.
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My wife and I have a pantry ours sits in the pantry.
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It, it's about the size of a blender, , we designed it specifically to adopt to most homes.
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The number one complaint we get is that it's not big enough.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:22:34
Hmm, we'll need, uh, a, a bigger repository.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:22:37
So we, we've heard that and we, we do have a pretty robust roadmap of new development that's coming out to address both a smaller format as well as larger format, , cuz of the demand of that.
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So we expect that, that we'll have options for people.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:22:51
Cuz again, we want this to be something that propagates, cuz again, it is the missing link for us to be able to build this compostable clean economy.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:23:01
Uh, where single use is no longer made out of, , petroleum based polymers and made out of things that are biocontents that can go into your lomi.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:23:08
And I just love getting these store from people who are buying from suppliers like you who said, I've, I've, I've sourced stuff from, you know, uh, um, I don't wanna pick names specifically, but one
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And again, this is creating this incredible regenerative soil supplement that's so healthy and, and what our planet needs.Catherine:
Well, and it's certainly something that is transforming lives and coming from a real world toy maker.Catherine:
I mean, this is your real world toy that is producing a low carbon footprint and a more sustainable future.Catherine:
What a great innovation, , and what great innovative thinking, whether you're the the muscle person or the brains behind it, . You've, you've carried the weight so well, Brad Pedersen, so I thank you.Catherine:
So we know how you are transforming lives for, how we're living today for a much more sustainable tomorrow.Catherine:
So, Brad Pedersen, what are your last inspiring words that you would like to share with the listeners here at your positive imprint?
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:24:23
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:24:24
Look, I, I think this is a new category, , that didn't exist before.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:24:30
We're creating a category around smart waste.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:24:32
, waste has typically been something that was , dumb if you will.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:24:36
We just basically, we, we put stuff in bins.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:24:39
, we created infrastructure for trucks to come pick it up and then take it to these big holes in the ground and bury it.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:24:44
And that's how we've done things for years.
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And so we assume it's the way it's done.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:24:49
We recognize that this new category of smart waste is different.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:24:52
And when you have different, uh, I think it was Schoen Howard said, you know, when you've first introduced an idea initially, it's thought to be crazy and
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:25:05
It's just what is the way it be.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:25:07
Then we believe that we're really on that path, and I remind people that at one time we used to power a large part of the world with whale oil.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:25:17
Now that seems crazy by today's standard, we used to harvests whales for their blubber, cuz it was a fuel that we were using to power things.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:25:26
And, through innovation, we discovered that there's coal.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:25:30
And then shortly thereafter we discovered that there was, fossil fuels like petroleum that we could use.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:25:36
And now we're, we're looking at how do we harvest energy of the sun and I heard some exciting news that potentially fusion is not too far away, , based on some recent reports.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:25:45
So we continue to, , evolve and grow our understanding of both the impact we're making and our ability to solve it.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:25:54
And I believe that we've been given, , the ability to solve our greatest problems and it's first step is awareness and then it's about change, which we vehemently oppose.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:26:05
And I think that's true.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:26:06
We resist it, but we understand to adopt a better and brighter future, we need to change the habits that are creating disruption.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:26:14
And so I think, I feel very privileged that we're on this sort of bleeding edge as it is around waste innovation.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:26:24
And, while that on its own seems like a, a silo, it's all interconnected.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:26:29
Waste innovation connects to climate change, which claims clinks to desertification and, and the erosion of soil.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:26:36
I mean, they're all linked together.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:26:38
So each of us owning a piece of, of this is what will ultimately allow us to build this more abundant future.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:26:46
And I, I think it was, , mother Teresa who was quoted saying that, , if we want to clean up the world or make the world a better place, let's start by sweeping our own doorstep.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:26:55
And if we all do that, it will be, the collective effort will be how we create meaningful and lasting change for a better future.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:27:02
It feels very daunting to try and affect climate change and some of these issues that, , that we face.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:27:10
You see it on the news.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:27:11
They talk about, , carbon.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:27:12
It's hard to imagine what carbon looks like in the atmosphere.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:27:16
And I, I think many of us have felt powerless for a long period of time that we can sit and listen and be concerned and worry about what can we really do.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:27:24
And, um, kind of comes back to that, that statement of Mother Teresa, that if we want to clean up the world, let's start with our own doorstep.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:27:32
We really created Lomi as a solution for you as the user to feel empowered to make a difference.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:27:38
This is the first carbon, , neutral, carbon negative appliance that's ever been made.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:27:43
We can actually measure the that to be true.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:27:46
, and so we really want people to feel like there's hope, , cause it's the most powerful force in the universe is the hope of a more abundant, better future.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:27:54
And there's a lot of anxiety in the world today, and scarcity thinking.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:27:59
And, uh, we we're here to be a beacon of light and hope and inspire those that, , we can and will create a better future.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:28:06
And we're focused on how we can make it waste free.
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:28:09
So thank you for having me today,Catherine:
Brad Pedersen, you are so welcome.Catherine:
You are inspirational, your entire team, and I look forward to a Lomi product and I look forward to Wow.Catherine:
Talking to you in the future about what else brad Pedersen is muscling around.Catherine:
Brad, thank you so much again for being here on your positive imprint,
Brad Pederson 12 Guest 1 00:28:33
Catherine, real privilege and thank you for what you do to help inspire those aroundCatherine:
Oh, thank you.Catherine:
My guest today, Brad Pedersen of British Columbia, is transforming how we live today for a better and more sustainable future through combating food waste,Catherine:
You can learn more about Brad Pedersen by going to bradpedersen.com.Catherine:
B r a d p e D E R s E N.Catherine:
You can also learn more at, Lomi.com L O M i.com.Catherine:
And I have a discount code.Catherine:
So when you purchase your Lomi, please use my discount code YPIpodcast, no spaces.Catherine:
This is a free podcast, but if you'd like to donate to the production of this variety show, You may do so by going to paypal.me/yourpositiveimprint.Catherine:
. And don't forget to leave positive reviews from your favorite podcast platform.Catherine:
And don't forget to follow, download,Catherine:
subscribe to your positive imprint.Catherine:
And I'll be backCatherine:
a Mother's Day episode, as well as an episode with NellieCatherine:
safe journeys everyone.Catherine:
Your positive imprint.