We all have the ability to to do something extraordinary. The motivation and gumption to do such a thing is predicated only upon one’s conviction. Many young people aren’t waiting for those around them to start building the future. Some are beginning to build it themselves.  Austin Hay decided that for his school project, he was going to be the change in his community…and his own life.

He decided to build a tiny house on wheels that he could take away to college. In addition, he built it in his own back yard, in less than 3 years, and created only 3 garbage cans full of trash. The home is fully functional, and green…not bad for a 17-year old.

From the three-sided bay windows around his desk to the hot water on demand showers, this is hardly the stuff of deprivation that some people ascribe to the tiny house movement. Instead, it’s an exercise in learning what’s enough space and enough stuff—and then optimizing your living space to enjoy it.

A true minimalist who realizes that we Americans don’t need all the shit we surround ourselves with. We are a nation of people who own two car garages so full with crap that we can’t even park in them. Austin has trimmed his wardrobe down to the bare minimum, he’s reclaimed materials from the salvage yard and his own bedroom, and he’s built the entirety of this 130 square foot home for $12,000! Add the composting toilet to the mix and his plans for building a solar cart for generating electricity, and this guy is pretty much living the model life of a Tree Hugger. I for one would like to follow his lead.