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It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment - Ansel Adams

"How do you inspire others?

Every year, I try to introduce my family to newer concepts on living right. We already live a pretty simple life but there are areas that still need ‘work’. One factor that’s on my side, though, is being the mother and a wife; it’s easier to make decisions that affect my family’s welfare on my own terms – most of the time. And when I need to convince them on certain points a bit more strongly, without being a nag, I use a sneaky tool to educate them. Movies or documentaries.

Yup. Passive aggressive at its best. Yea, yea, it might seem like I’m cheating but I’m mom enough to admit when I need help. Truth be told, I normally hate, HATE, when they become zombies in front of the T.V. but for this purpose, I’ll even pop some popcorn so they can watch without getting up to get snacks. Let’s face it, gone are the days when I can tug my kids in bed and read them bed time stories as they are bigger than me now. So watching films together and having discussions – or heated debates – afterwards seem to work better for telling them stories.

I remember the first time I took them to see “Supersize Me” at a local theater. My, then, nine year old daughter didn’t eat fries for months afterwards. Then, four years ago, I got to pick a family movie, Food, Inc., after a Thanksgiving meal. I didn’t plan on watching the movie after overdosing them on Tryptophan but unfortunately, it just turned out that way. So, in between dozing on and off, they learned the dangers of GMO and Monsanto. Now, my son questions every time he has popcorn whether the kernels are GMO free.

And two years ago, we watched the Beavans family conquer Manhattan on bikes and do laundry in their bathtub with their feet in an award winning documentary, “No Impact Man“. Then, there was Annie Leonard’s thought provoking “The Story Of….” series. My daughter was aghast when she saw “The Story of Cosmetics” and wrote “How to choose make up for a teenager” in 9th grade when she found out how hard it was to buy non-toxic make up. story-of-cosmetics

In 2011, the “red carpet” premiere event, à- la-mom, was “Gas Land“. (If you have Amazon Prime Membership, this movie is FREE on kindle right now}. Now, my family doesn’t take their clean drinking water for granted and they think of natural gas with some reverence. But the most dramatic moment of the movie wasn’t seeing all those toxic brown water samples. It was when my hubby abruptly got up to sell shares of a money making stock because he learned what fracking really was. Until the movie, he naively believed the company was a good bet for its aggressive innovations on extruding natural gas.

And by the way, NYS might be allowing fracking in some areas – near the PA border – soon. Governor Cuomo has been delaying making his decision but there was an “independent” study that was just released yesterday that stated fracking was “safe”. We are holding our breath here in NY to see what the Governor does.

And finally, 2012 movie of the year for our family was “Forks Over Knives“. It changed our lives as my hubby – a guy who can be the entire lobbying group for the Meat and Potato industries – has turned, wait for it….a vegetarian!

Yes! I am dead serious. I’ve been a Pescatarian (I occasionally ate fish, eggs, and dairy) but since hubby wanted to strictly follow the FOK diet, we had to cut out all oils – even olive oil – and nuts! He even bought the cookbook and he started to cook more. I have to admit; we were going insane for awhile but once we got used to eating ‘less’, it was no big deal. But then, as suspected, we started to add oils and nuts back into our diet because cooking was becoming an all day affair. We now eat seafood too. But still, he hasn’t eaten meat since March of 2012! For a guy who had to have meat at least once a day, this was HUGE! Monumentally HUGE! forksoverknives

Not that I want to reveal his health records here – HIPAA and all that – he initially lost weight and looked great. His cholesterol level came down (it was never that high but just average) and he said he felt much ‘lighter’. And, what do kids eat now? They also eat less meat and eats more veggies. They always ate a lot of veggies but now, with less meat, they have replaced that portion with even more veggies.

So there you have it. My sneaky ways of introducing NEW concepts to my family. There a many MANY more films like these that you can buy or borrow. In fact, hubby started to watch more documentaries than B/W Humphrey Bogart movies after awhile. But enough about me.

How do YOU inspire your family and friends?"

Source: How do you inspire others? ecokaren, January 2013.