Friday, February 5, 2010

I Like This Idea Butt...

Just when you think you've seen it all something new comes along that baffles the mind. I admit that I think this is a great idea but that like most great ideas, it might take some time to gain traction.

Back in the day, Mom worked for a Fortune 100 company. I even got to visit her there one time because she was working on an overnight project, Dad was out of town and there was no one to take care of me. I loved hanging out with Mom and all her co-workers but I remember that there was a lot of paper everywhere. All kinds of paper because despite what Mom had heard for years, the world was still many moons away from becoming a paperless society.

Mom's company recycled most of their used paper the traditional way - having Waste Management haul it away - but I often wondered if there was a better solution. I think I found a good solution the other day when I came across the White Goat. This machine turns trash into something you (not me) can't live without.

It may seem strange to some to turn used office paper into toilet paper but who do you think Waste Management sells their paper to? They sell it to companies who use it to make, among other things, toilet paper. Lots of companies make toilet paper out of recycled content so why not skip the middle man and make it yourself? The Nakabayashi company of Japan hopes many big companies will decide to skip the middle man and start making toilet paper in house.

The White Goat is simple to use. Just insert 40 sheets of paper, wait 1/2 hour and a roll of toilet paper pops out. How cool is that? The machine shredds the paper, mixes it with water, thins it out, and then drys it. It costs about 10 cents to make each roll which is a lot less than the average roll which cost about 60 cents. But of course the price of the machine is its downside. At $100,000 a company would have to about 200,000 rolls before the machine would pay for itself. Ouch! And if you ran the machine 24/7 it would take 11 years to make all those rolls.

My concern with this machine is the energy it must use. I couldn't find any energy usage numbers but a machine this size is bound to use the same amount of energy as a refrigerator. Compared to other energy hogs in a office enivronment this machine may use less and produce more.

We could debate the pros and cons of this machine until dinnertime but I think the White Goat is a step in the right direction. I'm not sure how many companies are going to buy it but Nakabayashi claims each machine will save 60 cedar trees a year. Saving trees is definitely important and hopefully the amount of CO2 released into the environment by this machine would be offset because a company using it would no longer (in theory) have to purchase toilet paper. Making your own means not being part of the supply chain that includes resource removal, manufacturing, and distribution of a product. So not only would you be cutting out the middle man but all the men.

Even though I have no use for toilet paper I like the White Goat. Mom likes it too because she thinks it would be cool to wipe her butt with one of her old performance appraisals.


THE PUGLET said...

I don't understand why humans don't just wipe their butts on the grass? That's what brother Dutch does.

I like that the office-poo-paper-maker is trying to save trees though.

Do you know they also make paper out of poo? Sheep poo, I mean:

dw said...

Gee, Stubby, I's don't happen to have an extra $100,000 sitting around to buys that machine and yeah it may take a lot of energy to run and be sorta counterproductive. I think there are a lot of things we can make toilet paper out of.....the first thing that comes to mind are all those giagantinormous books they have in Washington, the ones that nobody reads but they can summarize in three sentences. I's think you might know what I'm talking about there.... yep, they would make great toilet paper! Heeeeeeeeee!

Smushie Ranch said...

Hmmmm, recycled butt wiping paper. Don't think mom and dad will go for it. But it's a good idear.

Stella, Gunther and Betty

Tweedles -- that's me said...

This topic is mighty funny.
All these suggestions are great!
tee hee hee

Jeff9 said...

This machine is ridiculous = expensive and approaches the problem in the wrong way.This covers all the bases = saves you money, helps the environment, helps your health, makes you feel better, it's so easy to do and it costs less than $50.00; Save money and the Earth and be clean at the same time! Add Bathroom Bidet Sprayers to all your bathrooms. I think Dr. Oz on Oprah said it best: "if you had pee or poop on your hand, you wouldn't wipe it off with paper, would you? You'd wash it off” Available at with these you won't even need toilet paper any more, just a towel to dry off! Don’t worry, you can still leave some out for guests and can even make it the soft stuff without feeling guilty. It's cheap and can be installed without a plumber; and runs off the same water line to your toilet. You'll probably pay for it in a few months of toilet paper savings. As for water use a drought is always a concern and must be dealt with prudently but remember the water use of industrial users far exceeds the water use of household users and in the case of toilet paper manufacture it is huge. The pollution and significant power use from that manufacturing process also contributes to global warming so switching to a hand bidet sprayer and lowering your toilet paper use is very green in multiple ways.

Stubby said...

Hi Puglet! I know what you mean about our humans. They are so high maintenance, aren't they? Mom used leaves to wipe her butt when she was in the jungle.

I knew people made paper out of elephant poo but not out of sheep poo. Maybe Mom can make paper out of my poo.

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi dw & Rainy! I agree that $100,000 is pretty steep for that machine. And you are so right that there are lots of books our peeps could use instead of toilet paper. You are so smart!

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Stella, Gunther & Betty! I don't think many people would go for that rough looking paper. This is very typical of what is called a prototype - a good idea that just needs tweeking. I'm not sure how to tweek it but I'm sure someone will figure it out.

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Tweedles! This is a funny topic, isn't it? I cracked up when I first read about this machine and then I figured that everyone else probably hadn't heard about it.

Our peeps need so much stuff. We are minimalists!

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Jeff9! I've never heard of bathroom bidet sprayers. I'll definitely look into it. Thanks for stopping by.

Stubby xoxo

Salinger The Pug said...

Very cool post...and this machine seems like something that the coyote would have sent away for from Acme to somehow mess with that roadrunner!

Mom liked the last line the best. She LOL-ed and scared the crap out of me while I was snoozing on her lap. How rude!


Stubby said...

Hey Sal! You are so right about that coyote. Mom wants Dad to devise a similar, smaller, less expensive version for the house. Sheesh!

Sorry the last line made your mom laugh out loud. I don't like to be interrupted when I'm sleeping either especially by my rude mom!

Stubby xoxo

Anonymous said...

That is a really neat idea but I agree, in the long run, it doesn't sound like it's worth it yet. I can only imagine the energy it uses as well!!

Stubby said...

Hi Lex! I agree that it's a good idea but that it needs refinement. I still haven't found any information on the energy usage associated with the machine but I'm glad I don't need it. Silly people!

Stubby xoxo