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The Dumpster Project’s mission is two-fold. We aim to build the most carefully designed small living space ever constructed, and we aim to educate and inspire the next generation to live in a more sustainable manner via science, technology, engineering, math, film, and interactive media.
The Dumpster Project is many things: a sustainable home for a professor, a portable learning lab, a minimalist experiment and, most importantly, a creative branch of a wider green campus initiative at Huston-Tillotson University, a historically black institution located in the heart of East Austin.
So, how on earth do you transform a dumpster? That’s exactly the question that project lead, Jeff Wilson, asked while staring at a dumpster in a Starbucks parking lot over two years ago. Wilson, an environmental science professor and dean at Huston Tillotson, will be collaborating with students, scientists, engineers and the wider community by taking a used dumpster and retrofitting it into one of the world’s smallest sustainable homes over the course of a year. He’ll be living in the dumpster from start to finish and as the dumpster evolves, the student dorms and wider campus will also undergo a major eco-upgrade.
The Dumpster Project aims to start a conversation around the idea of "less is more" by taking a creative and engaging route instead of a preachy one. Wilson and his students are suggesting that you can be a normal American--drive a car, work a job, be a parent, and contribute to society-- all while living well in a small, low-impact space. The project also hopes to spark interest in the way that fun and forward-thinking innovation can help address the challenges facing both current and future generations as our world becomes increasingly complex.
- Karen Magid
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