State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Pedaling for the Planet: NYC-DC Climate Ride

JD Capuano is known at the Natural Resources Defense Council and Etsy (an e-commerce website for handmade and vintage items) as a key partner in developing their organizations’ sustainability strategies and operations plans. In Hoboken, N.J., he’s known as a sparkplug behind improvements in the city’s environmental performance. He’s known at Columbia University for many things, most recently for his service on the Earth Institute’s Leadership Council, for championing the M.S. in Sustainability Management, from which he graduated in 2012, and as cofounder and co-CEO of Closed Loop Advisors, a sustainability management firm concentrating on strategy and operations.

Climate Ride NYCDC 2013 Day 3_429
Capuano on the road in 2013

JD certainly gets around, so it’s no surprise that he’ll be navigating a 300-mile bicycle ride between New York City and Washington, D.C., from Sept. 20-24 to support Climate Ride, the national bike ride to raise charitable donations for and awareness about climate change, cycling, and environmental causes. This year JD has chosen three organizations to benefit from his Climate Ride trip: B Lab, the Earth Institute, and the NRDC. Along the way, he and other riders will attend speaking events each evening after pedaling 60 to 70 miles each day. While in DC, they will lobby elected officials to support positive legislative action on climate change. “I decided to do Climate Ride for a second year in a row because it’s a fun and challenging way to get people’s attention about the defining problem of our times,” said JD. “Climate Ride is a great organization that last year raised over a half a million dollars for a few dozen non-profits because of the efforts of several hundred cyclists. Beyond that, after seeing lobbyist after lobbyist, politicians tend to listen to you when you rode your bike 300 miles to see them.”

Just as he understands what’s required for organizations to operate sustainably, JD knows what it takes to cycle for 300 miles: the training, the equipment, the route planning, not to mention meal planning for nutrition and stamina.  As JD explains it, “Prepping for Climate Ride is about discipline, about fitting long rides into a busy schedule and sticking to them. In a way, it’s similar to working on climate change issues. I find that pedaling for the planet is a tangible way to connect with people about this largely intangible problem.”

You can support JD by visiting his fundraising page on the Climate Ride website, by following him on Twitter (@JDCapuano), and by helping him sprint to the finish line of his $3,000 fundraising goal for Climate Ride in September. If you’d like to be social about your support, attend his team’s fundraiser on August 20 .

Climate Ride is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2008 to inspire and empower citizens to work toward a new energy future. Climate Ride events raise donations for a designated group of more than 100 organizations selected as beneficiaries for their work on environment, conservation, clean energy, sustainability, climate education, or active transportation advocacy. Beneficiaries include the Earth Institute,, National Parks Conservation Association, NRDC, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Sierra Club, Transportation Alternatives, and the Nature Conservancy.

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Columbia campus skyline with text Columbia Climate School Class Day 2024 - Congratulations Graduates

Congratulations to our Columbia Climate School MA in Climate & Society Class of 2024! Learn about our May 10 Class Day celebration. #ColumbiaClimate2024

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