Well folks, time has flown and we can hardly believe it ourselves, but the dumpster has already celebrated its two month birthday as the world’s trashiest mini-home. A lot has happened since Professor Dumpster moved in on February 4th. There have been highs (a top-notch Ford Foundation prize) and lows (a dumpster flooding incident), but one thing is for sure—we’re testing the idea of living well with less and, so far, we’ve learned a lot while having a ton of fun (we’ll keep you posted on the fun barometer as the scorn of Texas summer approaches).
Check out the ten most memorable moments from the experiment thus far!
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1) We got a dumpster.
Okay, we know we’re kind of stating the obvious here, but how many people can say they’ve gone home shopping at the local dump? Staff and students from The Dumpster Project and Green Is the New Black piled in a van and headed out to our sponsor, Texas Disposal Systems, to choose the best used dumpster out of a lineup of potential candidates. Professor Dumpster ended up going with this particular model because the ID number had his lucky number 17. Makes sense, right?
2) We came, we saw, we conquered.
In this case, “we” refers to the incredibly talented members of the Green Is The New Black student group (GITNB) who flew to Detroit to compete against top universities in the Ford Foundation HBCU Community Challenge Competition. GITNB took first place and Ford sent the students home with a $75,000 check to be applied towards scholarships, the Dumpster Project, and a community development program with Blackshear Elementary (which is right across the street from the dumpster).
3) We made an omelet.
Somehow or another, Professor Dumpster managed to get a freshman seminar called “Dumpster 101” on the official HT roster. The class uses the dumpster as a lab for practicing real world skills—like cooking a healthy breakfast. Professor Dumpster and his class headed down to the local Hope Community Garden where they plucked eggs straight out of the chicken coop and vegetables right out of the garden. All the bounty was carried back to the dumpster where students helped cook a farm-to-dumpster extravaganza in the dumpster camp kitchen.
4) We made (a lot) of new friends.
Huston Tillotson University (home of The Dumpster Project) has become a popular tour* destination for local schools—because who wouldn’t be excited about a field trip to a trashcan? In all seriousness, the dumpster tour is a pretty good time (not to mention educational and thought-provoking). Students are given the chance to consider the mechanics of sustainable living in a small living space—they’re also encouraged to contribute their own ideas to the project. Clearly Professor Dumpster needs all the help he can get.
*Dumpster tours are open to anyone with a hankering to check out a converted metal box. Contact email@example.com for tour times and availability.
5) We lost a quarter ton dumpster (and then we found it).
Don’t you hate it when you come home from a long day of work only to discover that your house has mysteriously disappeared from the face of the earth? It’s a real bummer. Luckily, we were able to re-locate the AWOL dumpster after a little hunting around East Austin.
As it turns out, the dumpster was just on its way to a community event a couple blocks over at Plaza Saltillo. The Dumpster had a fantastic open house right in the middle of Hope Farmers Market during SXSW. Members of the Dumpster Team gave home tours while Professor Dumpster brewed market-goers Turkish coffee with water filtered right out of Town Lake. Yum?
6) We opened an AirD&B.
Professor Dumpster isn’t the only one attempting this grand experiment in living with less. After lawyers drafted up the strangest safety waiver we’ve ever seen, the dumpster finally opened to guests looking for the ultimate in “unique” accommodation. We like to think of Phase 1 of the project as luxury camping—we’ve got a convertible roof that opens under the Austin stars, a Persian carpet, and a super rad ornamental cactus welded from old dumpster parts. Let us know if you want your name on the waiting list.
7) We hatched a plan.
Dumpster camping is just the first of three phases before the dumpster is finally converted into the world’s smallest high-tech living space outside of a manned space capsule. Pulling this goal off requires some serious planning and that’s why The Dumpster Project is pairing up with Pliny Fisk III, a legendary green designer. We’re pretty sure Pliny could send the dumpster into space if he really put his mind to it.
8) We had a minor roof leak.
In Texas, spring showers are less like puddles of playful raindrops and more like torrential thunderstorms that hint at impending apocalypse. The dumpster—as it stands now—is no match for a serious Texas downpour. As you can see, we learned that lesson the hard way. Professor Dumpster was forced to air-dry every single one of his worldly possessions, which (thankfully) only amount to four shirts, a solar lamp, and a Persian rug.
9) We got an upgrade.
There’s only one other person in the known universe who’s also constructed a dumpster home and that’s Gregory Kloehn, Oakland native and all-around dumpster mastermind (we refer to him as Dumpster Yoda). Kloehn paid Austin a visit and whipped up a new false floor—complete with storage units—in what seemed like five minutes. We’re impressed, Dumpster Yoda. Very impressed. Also note that Professor Dumpster painted the inside of his dumpster with an eye-catching shade of rust-resistant paint from Treehouse, another one of our awesome sponsors. It’s getting positively homey in here.
10) We met Kevin Bacon.
We’ve got some big announcements coming soon and (when it’s time) we’d really like you to share the news with your friends, co-workers, sisters, brothers, second-cousins-twice-removed, local racoons, pet rocks–you catch our drift. Sign up for our newsletter to stay in the know and help us spread the message!