Dr. Jeff Wilson, a professor, is finally moving out of his dumpster. The Texas University professor has been down in the dumps lately over his living quarters – literally taking up residence in a tiny refuse bin that was moved to the campus a year ago. The sustainability project is now over, and Dr. Wilson can finally give up the dumpster diving. While the average American home is 2,400 square feet, Wilson made do inside of a 33-squarre foot metal square.
Writes KHOU.com on Feb. 5: “The college professor who spent much of the last year living in an East Austin dumpster is moving out of his habitat. Wednesday marked the one-year ‘Dumpsterversary’ for Dr. Jeff Wilson, also known as Professor Dumpster.”
Wilson lived inside of his dumpster for one year – retrofitting the metal garbage box with a water filtration system, some solar panels, electrical hookups and even air conditioning. In all, professor Wilson stayed inside of the dumpster about 250 out of 365 nights. But the dumpster always had a willing occupant. The evenings that Wilson couldn’t stay, one of Wilson’s students at Austin’s Huston-Tillotson University took his place.
The biological science teacher launched his rubbish plan “to raise student consciousness about what is necessary to live and to promote sustainable living,” according to his project’s website, DumpsterProject.org.
“The Dumpster Project invites learners of all ages to rethink sustainability through the quirky task of turning a dumpster into a home,” the website said. “As we investigate the impacts of modern life, we will learn how a happy healthy (dumpster) home can help us have a happy healthy planet. The playful and imaginative tone of the Dumpster Project is integral to our educational mission.”
According to Wilson, though he’s done living inside of his tiny home, the dumpster project lives on. “We are launching what we call a dumpster home school. So under that effort teachers and educators can spend a night in here. Walk home, back to the classroom with curriculum on sustainability about living on less,” he said. Wilson has invited educators from all over Texas to come spend a night in his makeshift home.
“Having less stuff equals less noise in your life, which equals more moments,” Wilson said. “You just have so much more moments in life.”
Adds KVUE.com out of Austin: “Wilson said he hopes more affordable housing options that also conserve energy can be made available worldwide, and his next plan is to work on adding a second story on the dumpster.”