Tips for Holding a House Party Essay

TipsforHoldinga ScreeningandHouseParty If you liked The Story of Stuff and the message it conveys, we invite you to share it with your community by showing the film at a house party (or at a classroom, church group, neighborhood association or other event). A house party is a party at your house or a friend’s house that you can use as an opportunity for education and activism. The more of us who see The Story of Stuff, the better chance we have of transforming our culture of consumption and waste into a culture that priorities social and ecological well-being.

And we know from making the film that if it’s going to have an impact, it has to be fun. So, let’s party! Here are some tips for holding a house party to screen The Story of Stuff: Planning your house party If you’re holding a house party, good planning will make it less stressful for you and more fun for everyone. Depending on when, where, and how you organize the gathering, you may need to modify these steps.

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Here are some ideas: • Thinkaboutyourgoals:OUR goal is to get as many people as possible to see The Story of Stuff in hopes that we can inspire people to act, and then, of course, to change the way our society extracts resources, makes stuff, consumes it, and lets it go. If you liked the film, we guess that is your ultimate goal too. But having a clear more immediately achievable goal will help to make your house party or event effective and give you that party afterglow once the guests have gone. Do you want to inspire your guests to start thinking about current methods of production and consumption?

To join a campaign or start a new community project? To find connections between an existing local campaign and global issues? To figure out how to prioritize values other than consumption during the holiday season? Do you want to raise money for a campaign or program geared toward sustainability? * Do you want to collect signatures to convince your town council to legislate for Zero Waste? Or maybe you just want to see the darn movie! Whatever the case, giving it a little advance thought will help the party run smoothly and will help inspire your guests to take action when the party’s over.

Page 1 www. storyofstuff. com * We consider fundraising by or for like-minded educational and non-profit groups at events where The Story of Stuff is shown to be perfectly legit, just let us know because we like to hear how Story of Stuff is being used. • Chooseadateandtime: Be sure there are no major conflicts on your chosen date such as large community events, demonstrations, other film screenings or organizational meetings. Give your guests two-to-three weeks’ notice, and allow yourself the time to make it happen. Makeaninvitationlist: Your party can be a gathering of close friends and family; a gathering of neighbors, co-workers, and colleagues; a public event; or a mix of all of the above. Remember, one goal of the party is to generate discussion; having people with diverse perspectives is a way to ensure a lively debate! Two to three weeks before the party • MailInvitations • Reserveanynecessaryspaceorequipment • Makesureyouhavethemovieinaviewableformat. Willyoubeshowingasmallcrowdonyour computer screen? Projecting it onto a wall? Download the movie or order a DVD, whichever formatworksforyourspaceandequipment. Ifyou’reinterestedindiscussingspecificissues—likehowtogettoxicflameretardantsoutof householdproducts,orhowtopromotelocalgreenjobs—callanorganizationworkingonthese issuesinadvance. Askthemwhatupcomingopportunitiestherearetogetinvolved. Request brochures, petitions, fact sheets or other material to be sent to you for distribution at the meeting. • LookovertheHousePartyActivities and Discussion Questions we’ve dreamed up and make sure you’ll have whatever materials you’ll need. Better yet, dream up your own activities! One to two weeks before the party Planyourmenuandgetthesnacks,drinksandsupplies. Sometimeslocalbusinessesarehappy tomakedonationsoffoodorsuppliestonon-profitevents,buttheyoftenneedrequestsweeks in advance. • Begintoprepareyourownpresentation,ifyou’llbegivingone,andthinkabouthowtobest facilitate any activities you might do. • Makecopiesofanyfliers,sign-upsheetsandanyothermaterialsyouwanttoprovide. • Makefollow-upcallstoensurepeoplewhoreceivedyourinvitationsandaskifthey’llbecoming. Page 2 www. storyofstuff. com The week of the party • Makeonelastfollow-upcalltopeoplewhosaidthey’dattendandthosewhosaidtheymight. DoatrialrunoftheDVDordownloadedmovietomakesureitworks. Thiswillgiveyoutimeto borrow a DVD player and TV if needed. The day of the party • Cleanthehouse—ordon’t,dependingonhowmuchgarbageyouwanttohaveforyouractivities. (Seriously—someoftheactivitieswe’vedreamedupinvolvescavengingingarbagecansandcollecting STUFF around the house. If you plan to do these activities, make sure your guests will only go through the stuff you feel comfortable about. You may want to close off some rooms and open others, for example…When you look at the HousePartyActivities, you’ll see what we mean…) Supplychecklist

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