Smart discussion about toxics policy reform

Go Ahead! Host a house party


Thank you for partnering with EWG to host this important Kid-Safe Chemicals Campaign event. Grassroots involvement is exactly what it will take to pass a strong national chemicals policy. We’re thrilled that you’ve invited us to share some information with your community about this federal legislation.

Many people come to this issue out of interest in protecting themselves and their children. So, in addition to discussing this important policy reform, offer your guests our most popular environmental health tip sheets.

Your host packet contains thorough, but understandable, information about our Kid-Safe Chemicals Campaign, and a DVD of our 10 Americans presentation to show during the party.

Because we’ve hosted a few of these events ourselves, we have some suggestions for throwing a fun, interesting and inspirational party:

1. Planning: Invitations – Audio/Visuals – Snacks

Planning is everything. Getting your ducks in a row makes for a smoother party and happier host. We recommend that you:

  • Pick a good day and time for your crowd. As you know, gathering busy people in one place is a challenge. Pick a day and 2-hour timeframe that works for your guests. Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons can work well. Do a quick online poll if you’re unsure – Doodle is an easy and free way to propose several times and for your guests to respond.
  • Send your e-vitation 2 to 3 weeks before the party. Timing is everything! Catch guests before their calendars are full, but not so far ahead that they forget, or other committments pop up. You can prepare personalized invitations, track RSVPs and send follow-up messages on free sites like E-vite or Eventbrite. Use our sample invitation language if you like.
  • Invite enough people to get right-sized crowd. Between 15 and 20 guests works well, so send out 25 to 40 invites. And count on a few no-shows. It happens to the best of us!
  • A/V equipment. This party centers around our 10 Americans video presentation, so you’ll want to to show it on a large screen, with good sound, in clear view of the audience.
  • Food and drink. A key component of any successful party, right? Let them know what it’ll be – gets ‘em every time.

2. Party Time: Agenda – The Petition – Contacting Legislators

Make the most of your guests’ time by informing and inspiring them before they have to run. Let them know what to expect as you welcome them. Our suggestions:

  • Socialize (25 min). Provide name tags if your guests don’t know one another. A quick round of introductions to learn people’s names, connection to the host and interests is a great ice-breaker.
  • Watch and discuss the 10 Americans presentation (35 min). Test your a/v equipment before guests arrive.
  • Distribute and review Kid-Safe packets (15 min). Show your guests what’s inside – they’re far more likely to have a look later if they know what’s there! Kid-Safe info on the left, green parent tips on the right. Tip: Share the work – ask a guest or your child to do this.
  • Explain and sign the Petition (10 minutes). This short but powerful statement is a great way to engage your guests. We’ll use it to show Congress how many people support protecting children and we’ll keep signers up to date on kids’ health issues. Tip: Have your child ask guests to sign – who could refuse?
  • Contact your U.S. Senators and Representative (15 min). Empower your guests to get involved. Our draft letter or email should be on your computer screen, ready to edit, so guests can sign and send a letter then and there. Our handy call guide can help guests call their legislators, too. Sending a letter is stronger, especially if your party is after business hours.
  • Take action during the party, when people are focused on the issue. Once they disperse, they are far less likely to get active.
  • Discuss next steps (20 min). Tell your guests that you’ll e-mail links to EWG’s environmental health tips and Kid-Safe info and actions. Decide what will happen next: Who will throw the next party? Who will join you to meet with your member of Congress?

3. Follow-up: Thank Your Guests – Stay Involved – Report Out

Follow-up is essential. Consciousness raising is valuable, but when coupled with action, it’s the stuff of change. We suggest that you:

  • Follow up with thanks and an opportunity to stay involved. Personalize our follow-up e-message with your own thank-you note. The message has links to EWG’s green parenting tips and opportunities to stay involved with the Kid-Safe campaign.
  • Find one guest to host her own party. When he or she signs up with EWG, we’ll reward you with a gift.
  • Meet with your Congressional representative in his or her district office. Encourage your guests to join you. Let your local lawmaker know that there are many constituents in the Congressional district who want him or her to support Kid-Safe. Present a packet with signed letters from you and all your guests and friends. Need more help from us? Contact EWG’s Environmental Health Outreach Coordinator at [email protected].
  • Let us know how it goes! We love feedback! It helps improve our activist tool kit and build momentum for Kid-Safe. Take a picture and upload it on our Kid-Safe Fickr page, too. Showcasing parties across the country is a great way to inspire others. If Flickr’s not your thing, simply email your pics to [email protected].