JWU News

Reuse Expert Alex Eaves Kicks Off JWU Sustainability Week

Reuse Documentary Logo

4/22/18 | Each year, JWU Providence’s Sustainability Week — which is always scheduled around Earth Day, April 22 — gets bigger and better. This year’s lineup includes tree plantings, free yoga by the water, Columbia Park clean-up, and the annual Sustainability Fair, which runs in tandem with JWU Global’s VegFest on April 25. The week kicked off with a visit from reuse expert Alex Eaves, a filmmaker, writer and “reuse pro.”

Eaves is touring the country in a tricked-out box truck that doubles as his home. You heard me right: he lives in a 98-square-foot space constructed entirely out of reclaimed materials. (Eaves teamed up with his friend Deek Diedricksen, who designs tiny homes, to conceive and construct the truck’s interior.)

“I started thinking about ways for people to see more of the benefits of reusing,” noted Eaves. He and Diedricksen quickly hit on the idea of the truck as a mobile teaching tool — “to spread the reuse gospel,” as Diedricksen put it.

Parked on Gaebe Common, the truck drew quite a crowd of JWU students curious to see for themselves how someone — anyone — can live in less than 100-square-feet. But the truck defies expectations in the best possible way, as the canny design makes the tiny space feel cozy rather than confining — and much roomier and inviting than you might think, given the square footage.

Eaves’ career shift began when he was working as a merchandising manager for a touring band. He was troubled by the huge amount of waste generated by the t-shirt industry — which inspired him to investigate solutions.

Fast-forward to 2018, and he’s still criss-crossing the country in a tiny bus. “You can take the dude out of the tour bus, but you can’t take the tour bus out of the dude,” he laughs.

As he got ready to screen his documentary, “Reuse! Because You Can’t Recycle the Planet,” he shared some easy starting points for any student looking to reduce his or her carbon footprint:

“The easiest way that anybody can start is right here with your coffee cup. You know you hear a lot about all of these recyclable paper cups in coffee shops but the truth is they’re not recyclable a lot of times. Most of those cups have plastic linings so the easiest thing and do is just remember your travel mug! It’s one of the easiest things you can do.

“When it comes to living — since we’re here outside of my house — just look for used options of anything — I mean bedspread, chairs, whatever! I think that is like one tactic that is the easiest way — if you need to buy something, look for a used version. You will wind up finding something unique and save money in the process!”

Learn more about recycling + reusing from Alex:

Get involved with sustainability at JWU:

Alex Eaves

Desk/writing area inside the Reuse Box Truck

Reuse Box Truck bunks

Scenes from the Reuse screening for JWU Sustainability Week

Reuse film screening at dusk

Topics: Sustainability