I have been seeing quite a few Earth Day technology news stories and blogs over the past few days encouraging people to recycle old electronic equipment. An even better solution is when computer equipment can be reused to help the “needy get nerdy” (Free Geek). Free Geek will take donated computers and other electronic equipment and reuse as much as possible to create computers for those who need them. Materials that cannot be used again are sent only to recycling companies that handle them in an environmentally responsible manner.
The refurbished computers are loaded with open source software (Linux, OpenOffice.org, and more). To become eligible to receive one of these computers along with training on how to use it, a person must spend 24 hours volunteering at Free Geek. The original Free Geek is located in my adopted home town on Portland, OR, and additional Free Geeks have started sprouting up in other locations including my original home state of Ohio (Columbus); Chicago, Illinois; South Bend, Indiana; Olympia, WA; and Ephrata, PA.
Please consider contributing to these organizations by donating equipment or volunteering your time to support both the environment and open source software.