All Sustainability History Project Oral Histories


Interview with John Ashcraft, Free Geek, 2011 (audio)


John Ashcraft

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35 minutes.


Recycled products -- Oregon -- Portland, Technology, Sustainability


Interview of John Ashcraft by Sam Medina at Portland State University on August 6th, 2011.


This interview involves Jim Ashcraft, who represents Free Geek; a volunteer and community member operated non-profit business. The business focuses on reusing and recycling E-waste coupled with educational programs and classes oriented to reusing older computer equipment with open-source software, which is free to anyone. An incentive for volunteering at Free Geek includes a computer for hours spent volunteering. Jim Ashcraft talks about his life decisions that led him to Portland as the place he wanted to live in, involving Oregon and its recycling ethics, as well as the bike culture.(1:00-2:00). His first job in Portland was being a volunteer at Free Geek, then landing an internship with the company. “Sustainability in Portland tops anywhere else in the country” (18:10), and as a result the company gets subsidies from the state government, as well as some manufacturers who use the Free Geek business in a partnership to decrease the amount of trash created from E-waste.

This interview is part of “The Sustainability History Project: Documenting Sustainable Development and Practice in the Pacific Northwest” at Portland State University.


This digital access copy is made available as streaming media for personal, educational, and non-commercial use within the parameters of “fair use” as defined under U.S. Copyright law. It cannot be reproduced, distributed, or broadcasted for commercial purposes. For more information, please contact Special Collections at Portland State University Library at: or (503) 725-9883.

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