Next stop: Rutgers. Cyclist advocating sustainability nearing Livingston Campus
Max Peer is making his way around the world – mostly by bicycle – to raise awareness about the importance of sustainability and the work of the Interaction Design Foundation, a non-profit organization working to make technology more people-friendly and accessible.
As part of his journey, Peer will pedal onto Rutgers University’s Livingston Campus tomorrow at 2 p.m., where he will speak at the Lucy Stone Hall Auditorium. The audience will include students and faculty from Rutgers Business School’s Supply Chain Management and Marketing Sciences program. Peer’s ride is being sponsored by the Interaction Design Foundation and the business software-maker SAP.
Peer, who wasn't far from campus, took a break to speak with RBS via cellphone about his trip so far, some of his gear and how he came to be an advocate for sustainability.
The Livingston Campus couldn’t be a more ideal place for him to promote his cause. The campus generates 65 percent of its electricity demand from two huge solar facilities and features an elaborate geothermal field that will be used to heat and cool the new Rutgers Business School building.
Peer, who lives in Austria when he isn't on a bike journey, had this to say about his next stop: “It sounds fantastic.”
Q: How much of the time will you actually be riding your bicycle? Are you camping out along the way?
A: “The bike is the primary transportation. There’s no fixed concept for how much I’m biking or canoeing. It depends on the area. (He is carrying a foldable canoe on his trailer.) The canoe comes in when I’m in an area with lakes and rivers. I was hoping to do some canoeing recently but the weather was just not good enough. I’m trying to camp out as much as possible. Sometimes I get invited to camp in someone’s backyard or sleep on their couch. Sometimes, I have to stay at motels.”
Q: You’re advocating for sustainability and the IDF by riding a bicycle. Why did you decide to ride for your causes?
A: “I was doing on a lot of shorter bike rides and going to different countries. When I was working on a project in Hungary with underprivileged children I had the idea that I’m privileged, financially and physically, to be able to travel and I should give something back and not do it just for fun. It seemed to be so important for me to do it.”
Q: You’re not just advocating sustainability, you’re practicing it. Can you tell us how?
A: “I try to fuel a lot of my equipment (laptop and cameras) with the solar panel on my trailer. I try to be self-supporting and generate energy from my surroundings. When I’m biking, I have a dynamo hub that generates the power for my GPS.”