AUSTIN (KXAN) — 365 days. That’s how long Jeff Wilson, also known as “Professor Dumpster,” lived in a green Dumpster on the Houston-Tillotson University campus. Wilson converted the bin into his home to promote sustainable living. He wanted to show his environmental science students that humans can live on a much smaller scale and lessen their environmental footprint.

Last February, the professor sold all his possessions and decided to live in the 36-square-foot Dumpster, which he says is 1 percent the size of the average American home. The concept came to him while sitting in a Starbucks.

“I was revising a journal article thinking about, ‘How could I make my research more applicable to student learning?,’ and then I looked out the window and saw the Dumpster and thought: ‘That’s it,'” Wilson told KXAN last year.

Throughout the past year, the Dumpster has completely transformed. It started with just a sleeping bag, like a camping site. Now, the “home” is connected to the electrical grid and climate-controlled with small heating and air conditioning units. It also includes a false-floor basement — that stores cooking equipment, bedding and clothing — an improved roof, and an online weather data station for the Dumpster.

The professor is celebrating his one-year anniversary in the Dumpster on Wednesday with students, staff and people in the community from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“It’s a little bit nostalgic, like the home you grew up in and moving out of,” said Wilson.

The Dumpster will now become part of a new project called the “Home-School Program,” where different educators can come stay in the Dumpster as a way to motivate and inspire their classes. The professor is already working on his next educational gimmick. Shortly after Valentine’s Day, Wilson is launching “99 Nights ATX.”

“I’m going to couch surf around Austin to investigate what makes a house a home,” said Wilson. “So everywhere from the largest homes on the west side to some of the tiniest homes on the east side.”

“I think the big lesson that my students learned, some of them even spent a night in the can, is that you can have a pretty good life on a lot less. And by moving to smaller, you can move closer to the things — and even people — in the community that you love,” Wilson said.