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It’s remarkable to see what some people are doing with regards to their living arrangements these days. Lifestyles and needs are changing, and consequently, our houses are shrinking. Here is one example (out of many) we wrote about earlier in the year.

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This story however, is about Jeff Wilson, an environmental Professor and Dean from Huston-Tillotson University’s campus in Austin, Texas. After going through a divorce, and moving into a 500 square foot apartment, most of what he owns now resides in a 36 square foot dumpster on the university campus. This is where he will be living for approximately one year.

It’s part of a project dubbed “The Dumpster Project,” initiated to teach students and help them develop the tools they’ll need for sustainable living.

“With a 33 sq ft dumpster and a team of students and experts, the dumpster will transform from a barely habitable used garbage container to a sustainable house and interactive teaching lab”

Wilson said:

“We could end up with a house under $10,000 that could be placed anywhere in the world,[fueled by] sunlight and surface water, and people could have a pretty good life.”

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Here’s a short little documentary they made showing what the first 6 months looked like.

The dumpster includes an air conditioner, insulation, a bed, pitched roof that slides back and forth for ventilation, weather stripping and locks. It will even have a dome to catch incoming rainwater, and provide shade, as well as a kitchen sink. There are also plans to install a toilet, solar panels and completely unplug from the electricity grid.

“The big hypothesis we’re trying to test here is, can you have a pretty darn good life on much, much less? This is obviously an outlier experiment. But so far, I have, I’d say. A better life than I had before.” – Wilson


For more information on the dumpster project, you can visit their website here.

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