One University is Turning a Dumpster into a Micro-Home

Our Take

Houston-Tillotson University in Austin, TX has introduced their dumpster project.  The goal of the project is to turn a 6×6 foot dumpster into a micro-home. This dumpster won’t just be a place you can live in, it will be high tech and sustainable. The challenge is a base for a more formal education program that will not only educate those at the University, but also members of the community. It will be a conversation piece as well, meant to bring up questions about how we live and what we could do to live a healthier more sustainable life. Classes have already been taught using the dumpster as their base. There will also be internships built around sustainability and the knowledge gained while transforming this dumpster.  Looking at new technologies, their effects on the environment and how people can live in a greener way are just a few of the lessons that will be learned as this university goes on the journey of their dumpster project. The end result will be talked about and examined for all the effort and time it takes to put it together and also for what it could mean for homes of the future. Hopefully it will change the way the students and local community live and use the world’s resources.  Just think about the amount of space you live in, could you make the move to a 6×6 home and live in a greener way?

Sustainability in higher education targets a distinct version of the triple bottom line; "people, planet and profit" goals must serve the broader educational mission of the school. We did this by focusing HT’s nascent sustainability efforts on a key educational initiative called the Dumpster Project.

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