Call it Cradle-to-Crapper. An enterprising Japanese firm called Oriental has developed a machine that will divert the waste paper in your office and convert it into toilet paper. Right there, on the spot. Feed about 40 sheets of paper into one end of the machine and in about 30 minutes, a roll of toilet paper emerges from the other end.
Sure, the carbon footprints linked to toilet paper purchases might not account for entire chapters of corporate social responsibility reports. But this contraption–which Oriental has inexplicably named the White Goat–is perhaps symbolic of the diffusion of sustainable thinking into the most remote corners of workplace design. Or, depending on how much water and electricity the White Goat eats each day, it could be symbolic of sustainable thinking gone wrong.
Either way, I wonder what company–in Japan or elsewhere–is flush (ha!) enough with cash to spend $100,000 on a DIY TP machine. That’s what Oriental plans to ask for the White Goat, which goes on sale this summer. In case you need ammo to convince your sustainability manager to let you buy one, using the machine regularly will save an estimated 60 cedar trees annually.
The machine turns the office paper into pulp, then spreads the pulp out into a thin layer that is dried and rolled up. Based on looks alone, this toilet paper does not seem to possess Charmin-like softness. But using it would be a nice way to show your boss what you think of his stupid TPS reports. (If that reference isn’t clear, might we suggest you view the cinematic masterpiece Office Space?)
Perhaps this invention shouldn’t come as a surprise, given Japan’s interest in toilets. But the White Goat is, at least, a more sustainable approach to business-doing than a toilet with a built-in heater, radio, automatic seat lifter, etc.