Bioregionalism in Action

Bioregionalism is a vision of a future that works for people and for the Earth.

Bioregionalism is a movement, an ethic and idea that has been growing for more than four decades which seeks to do just that, by using natural features such as mountain ranges, and rivers as the basis for political and cultural units, rather than arbitrary lines on a map. Together, it is a political, cultural, and ecological set of views based on naturally defined areas called bioregions. Nature acts bioregionally – and more than ever before – the ability to act regionally and globally in an interconnected fashion has never been more important.

So why does Bioregionalism matter? and why is it relevant for you and your work. 

For Individuals, Communities, Businesses and Governments:

  • Root yourself in place. Take the Bioregional Quiz. Research and learn about where you live, both the physical – geology, where your water comes from, place names, weather, plants, animals, local resources – but also cultural – indigenous place names, history, geography, and what makes each area so unique. Find the context and map where and what you find special, outside of the confines of google maps.
  • Shop Locally. Read our Bioregional Buyers Guide. Pay attention especially to supply chain, sustainability, and the ethics of how they make their products. Don’t stress if you can’t be perfect – this is a first step – and we live in a system which intentionally makes this as difficult as possible. The more bioregional of a society we live, and the stronger our relationships – the easier it becomes. Use compostable packaging.
  • Get food at a farmers market, or from local vendors and independent restaurants. Read our Bioregional Food Guide. Try to eat foods that are native to each region, grow naturally without extra additives or chemicals, are organic, and have a small transportation footprint.
  • Support policies and people that increase the diversity and social fabrics of our bioregions, communities and increase the well being of our inhabitants. Read our Voting Bioregional Guide. 
  • Support circular economies which focus on long term longevity, quality, reusing products and policies like the right to repair.
  • Support Indigenous Sovereignty, language and culture and help redress past cultural failings to create a more vibrant, robust and equitable future. Encourage platforms that empower and magnify voices which may be marginalized or traditionally left out of systemic power structures.
  • Use forms of transportation that are carbon neutral. This includes, walking, biking, bussing, and supporting rail in all of its forms. Supporting interim steps to electrify, decarbonize, and reduce our reliance on harmful energy productions methods are also important.
  • Plant native plants. Become a pollinator ambassador and work with neighbors to create native plant corridors. Focus on removing invasive species from a systemic level.
  • Use watershed and bioregional frameworks – and frameworks which better represent the place, people and inhabitants for determining metrics of scale and growth. Especially carbon emissions and sink.
  • Support access to fundamental rights which better the entire region, such as access to voting, healthcare, education, and basic necessities such as housing, employment and food insecurity.
  • Focus on long term and generational well being of inhabitants, including environmental and regional sustainability. Make sure that full environmental costs are being factored into corporate responsibility, so undue burden is not placed onto tax payers, or are ignored.
  • Create or support a local or bioregional identity, rather than a national one. How can we better become citizens of our watersheds?

Key Policy Points:

  • Develop and use a bioregional framework for decision making.

  • Take into account cultural and ecological realities such as watersheds, fire sheds, fiber sheds, food sheds, air sheds, growth management, transportation, urban planning.

  • Use data driven and peer reviewed information that is transparently funded.

  • Watershed administrative districts and commons.

  • Let natural borders and cultural realities help define political administration.

  • Every community impacted by a decision deserves to be a part of that decision.

  • Culture stems from place. Different areas will have different needs based on the realities of that place.

  • Explore place appropriate technologies and indigenous ways of living.

  • Use a bioregional assessment model for carrying capacities in each region and to develop benchmarks for emissions and growth.

  • Support economic systems which are local, sustainable and ethical.