Record Your Stories, Save the Planet

Nov 21, 2015
10:02 AM

Thanksgiving is next week. Are you ready? We don’t mean travel planning or food shopping, but, rather, are you ready to sit through a two-hour conversation with good old Uncle Jim? Just imagine: this year he’s got even more material, what with Donald Trump‘s non-stop delightful speeches. How about Mom asking when you’re finally giving her a nietecito? You can sit there and stuff your face to avoid responding, of course (I know we’ve tried that one before), or you can throw it all overboard.

Okay, not literally, but why not at least throw the conversation overboard and help us out at Azul at the same time? You don’t need to be holidaying in Cancún to get such an opportunity. Just join the StoryCorps “Great Thanksgiving Listen,” with some fish tales!

You may have heard StoryCorps — a nonprofit oral history project that collects stories around the country — on NPR. This year, StoryCorps is hosting the Great Thanksgiving Listen, a project aimed at students that leverages that snazzy new smartphone in your hand.

Here’s how it works: You download the app, you walk up to Grandpa, Grandma, heck, even that cousin you can’t stand, and ask them to tell you a story. What do they remember about the beach and ocean when they were kids? Maybe a cool summer vacation to Los Angeles? Surfing up a storm in Baja? The bioluminescence in Vieques? Fishing off the pier?

Once recorded, the stories can be uploaded to the StoryCorps website, tagged with keywords, and shared via email, text message, Facebook or Twitter.

What’s the point? Well, apart from saving your sanity, personal stories are the best way to create connections to important causes, and these family stories are a way to engage more people around ocean and coast conservation. So not only are you avoiding an uncomfortable play-by-play recap of the last Republican debate, but you could also be inspiring others to care for our coasts and oceans. (Take that, Fox!)

How’s that for an easy-breezy Thanksgiving dinner?