Applaud Professor for Creative Sustainable Living Project

Target: Professor Jeff Wilson of Huston-Tillotson University in Texas

Goal: Applaud professor for creating the Dumpster Project, in which he will help the environment and teach his students about sustainable living by spending one year in a renovated dumpster.

Environmental science Professor Jeff Wilson from Texas will spend one year living out of a dumpster to prove humans need much less than we think. Wanting to teach his students low-impact living and sustainable design as part of the new green campus initiative, Professor Wilson is creating a livable dumpster to guide his students in designing green, functional systems for his small space.  His project is a powerful example of the importance of applying knowledge outside of the classroom. Applaud him for his innovative and instructional Dumpster Project.

Professor Wilson currently serves at Huston-Tillotson University in Texas, where he is launching his Dumpster Project. His new “home” is approximately 1% of the size of the average American house from 2011 statistics, and will only use energy produced through solar panels. Professor Wilson is calling on his students to take the principles he teaches in class and help him design systems for running water, climate control (Texas summers average in the high 90 degrees), and waste reduction so as to make it livable.

The larger goals of this project, says Professor Wilson, are for the students to develop real-life solutions to situations–how to install running water, a toilet, even WiFi–as well as to demonstrate how to live with less. The average American household wastes 400 gallons of water per day, whereas the dumpster uses 4 gallons. A household produces 4.5 lbs of trash, but the purpose of the dumpster is to produce zero. The professor’s belief in the success of this project is so strong that upon deciding to pursue this goal, he sold nearly all of his assets within one day, and camped out in his office for a while before the dumpster was clean enough for him to move in.

Applaud Professor Jeff Wilson of the Huston-Tillotson University in Texas for his commitment to teaching his students valuable, real-life applications of their coursework, and for his pursuit of a more sustainable way for Americans to live. His dedication to these two goals is clearly shown. It’s creative and eccentric acts like this which will ultimately have the biggest impact on people, education, and the environment.


Dear Professor Wilson,

I recently learned about your plans for Project Dumpster and I wanted to commend you for your idea. While I imagine living out of a dumpster for a year will have its challenges, the outcomes of truly educating your students as well as discovering a more sustainable way for Americans to live is exceptional.

As reported, you will use the dumpster to give your students the opportunity to design systems for some of the basic necessities: running water, climate control, and waste reduction. It will also serve as a way for you to research the effects and outputs of living in a smaller space. Already it has been mentioned that the average American household wastes 400 gallons of water per day, whereas the dumpster uses only 4 gallons. The implications of your year-long study are highly valuable towards keeping the planet green.

Thank you for your work, sacrifice, and passion for improving education and environment alike.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Paul Sableman via Flickr

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One Comment

  1. This is a great idea. I hope it gets plenty of coverage!

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