UB welcomes Jimmy Fallon - well, sort of

Earth Week kicks off with a replica of the Tonight Show

On April 22, 2014

  • Students, faculty and staff gather for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon -- Well, Sort Of,” which kicked off Earth Week. Juan D. Pinzon, The Spectrum

UB students experienced what it was like to be part of the live audience of "The Tonight Show" in the Student Union lobby during Earth Day Tuesday.

Spectators were entertained with the late-night talk show's standard segments such as "Hashtags," "Slow Jam the News" and "Catchphrase," each with its own Earth Week twist.

Students who had seen the flyers around campus and passed by the event were excited by what they thought may be an appearance by Fallon. Instead, they were greeted by an alternative show put together by the Office of Sustainability to begin Earth Week.

The show opened and ended with a monologue and Muppets-themed musical performance. The student host, impersonating Jimmy Fallon, kept the show going with the expected humor, receiving laughter from the crowd.

"I initially thought 'Wait, Jimmy Fallon isn't actually coming here,'" said Victoria Robbins, a sophomore psychology major. "It was a great way to grab people's attention though."

Robbins said her favorite part was the "Slow Jam" segment saying it was "just hysterical."

The event was advertised as "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" followed by, in a small font, "well, sort of." The marquee of Earth Week was used to launch the Sustainability Dashboard, a touch-screen kiosk that will be installed in every building on campus this summer. 

The device offers the opportunity to see how much energy each building is using in comparison to others. 

"[It will] lead to more engagement among students, faculty and staff," said James Simon, the sustainability engagement coordinator. "If you know what you're using, you can take steps to reduce it and be more sustainable here and in your home."

Ryan McPherson, UB's chief sustainability officer, introduced the device while being interviewed on the mock "Tonight Show." He said it gives people a way to visualize their energy usage.

"Once you have this knowledge, there is action," McPherson said.

The dashboards will calculate energy usage in terms other than kilowatts, the usual measure for electricity. Energy usage will be calculated in money spent and even by how many cheeseburgers make up the amount of energy. The alternative units will allow students to look at energy in a different perspective, according to McPherson.

The rest of the week is host to a number of other sustainability-related events.

Glamorously Green: Eco-Fashion Show and Natural Beauty Fair will take place Wednesday in the Student Union from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will include a fashion show featuring designs composed of recycled or "upcycled" items and clothes purchased from thrift stores. A beauty fair will take place afterward to educate students on alternative beauty products and methods that are more eco-friendly.

Shivani Kamodia, a senior environmental health sciences major, organized the event to raise awareness on recycling and more natural beauty procedures.

"By making fun events and engaging students outside of the classroom, we're creating a community that can be more effective in our sustainable changes," Kamodia said.  

The fashion show will include informational discussions on sustainability and advice on how to recycle the materials used for the designs. The Natural Beauty Fair will consist of tables on homemade natural body scrub, makeovers with eco-friendly makeup and information of the dangers of microbeads, commonly used in beauty products.

The fair will also serve as an introduction to "No-Poo," which is a method that calls for no shampooing. Instead, consumers wash their hair with baking soda and water to avoid chemicals found in drugstore shampoos. A contest will take place for participants to guess how many harmful or unknown chemicals there are in a mystery product, "to visualize how chemically laden we are," she said.

Kamodia said she wants to "educate people on how easy it is and that [those who are interested] are not alone."

On Thursday, Ken Shockley, the director of the sustainability academy and an associate professor of philosophy, will host a talk titled "Reacting and Responding to Environmental Value" from 1 to 2 p.m. in 17 Norton.

Robbins, who has previously attended Shockley's talks, looks forward to the event. It's a great way to engage with the professor in a non-lecture style, according to Robbins.

A "Weigh the Waste" event will also take place every day of Earth Week from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the three UB dining centers. Campus Dining and Shops will weigh the food thrown into the trash. It will be a "symbolic number of what we are wasting each day," according to Simon.

"The things we need to do to create a better future we need to do every day, not just one week of the year [or] one day of the year," Simon said.

email: news@ubspectrum.com

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