Last week, we highlighted the ingenuity of volunteers with a short post on the capabilities of geotextile, a seemingly obscure material that, thanks to some resourceful and creative minds, has become an invaluable backcountry work tool.

Keeping with that theme of resourcefulness and conservation, here’s a fascinating look at ingenuity on another level: Dan Phillips, a 64 year-old self-taught carpenter and founder of Phoenix Commotion, has spent the last 12 years using that seemingly useless product otherwise known as trash to build homes – 14 of them to be exact! Approximately 80 percent of the homes are constructed from recycled materials, consisting of everything from picture frame ceilings to wine cork floors to scrap wood siding. And yes, people do live in them. Take a look:

Read more about Dan and his work here.

P.S. Intrigued by what can be done with your trash? Dan isn’t the only one up to great things. Check out the work of TerraCycle and the “upcycling” movement for another look at ingenuity in action.