What makes a home? Four walls and a roof? Some nice furnishings? Maybe some indoor plumbing? For Dr. Jeff Wilson, an environmental science professor in Texas, a home can be made in something as unconventional as a dumpster. Part of a unique university experiment, the Dumpster Project aims to reveal how it’s possible to live in a dumpster for an entire year without all of the amenities modern Americans have grown so accustomed to.
Dr. Jeff Wilson didn’t lose his job at the Huston Tillotson University in Austin, Texas or his mind. Instead, two years ago while revising a journal article at a Starbucks, Wilson hatched a wild plan to move into a trash receptacle when he saw an eight-yard dumpster outside of the window. A year later the lease on his apartment ran out and Wilson began moving out by selling all of his worldly possessions except for one suitcase of clothes and nicknacks.
Wilson then spent seven months sleeping on a University office floor to prepare for his Dumpster Project, a university-approved educational experiment on low-impact living. As part of the experiment Wilson will teach and live from a used 33 square feet dumpster for an entire year starting this fall.
The idea is to show that people can not only live out of a space that’s just one-percent the size of a new American home, but that modern amenities like electricity or indoor plumbing are also dispensable. Of course, this trashy home will be sanitized and safety-tested. Otherwise, it’s a bare box of metal walls. Wilson will even be gathering his own filtered water from a town lake with five gallon buckets.
Once Wilson has settled into his life emulating Oscar theGrouch, he will start pimping it out until it resembles a real home. This includes installing energy-efficient bulbs, nano-insulation, and even energy-producing toilets. He also plans to take the “Professor Dumpster” show on the road in order to introduce life in a trash heap to other schools.
The year-long Dumpster Project made its initial debut in New York at Times Square and Maker Faire.
+ The Dumpster Project
Via Fast CoExist
Images © The Dumpster Project