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what does "bioregion" mean - how big is it? how is it defined? what impacts does it have on growing, distributing, consuming, and wasting food?
Draft explanation from ChatGPT:
A bioregion is a geographic area that is defined by its unique natural characteristics, such as its climate, soil, topography, and ecosystems. Bioregions are often defined by watersheds, which are the areas of land that drain into a particular body of water, such as a river, lake, or ocean. Bioregionalism is a philosophy and a social movement that promotes the idea of living within the limits of a bioregion, and working to protect and sustain the natural resources of that region.
The size of a bioregion can vary widely depending on its natural boundaries, but it is generally larger than a local community or city and smaller than a nation. For example, the Pacific Northwest bioregion of North America includes parts of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia, and Alaska. The boundaries of bioregions are not always clearly defined, and can be influenced by political, cultural, and economic factors.
The concept of bioregions has significant implications for growing, distributing, consuming, and wasting food. Bioregionalism encourages local and regional food systems that rely on the resources of the local bioregion, such as growing crops that are well-suited to the local climate and soil conditions, and sourcing food from nearby farmers and producers. This approach can help to reduce the carbon footprint of food production and transportation, support local economies, and promote the health and well-being of the people who live in the bioregion.
By contrast, industrial agriculture often relies on monoculture crops that are not well-suited to the local environment, and uses large amounts of energy, water, and other resources to produce and transport food over long distances. This approach can lead to environmental degradation, soil erosion, and water pollution, and can contribute to climate change.
In addition to promoting local and regional food systems, bioregionalism also encourages the reduction of food waste and the adoption of sustainable practices for disposing of food waste, such as composting. By returning organic matter to the soil, composting can help to improve soil health and fertility, reduce the need for synthetic fertilizers, and sequester carbon in the soil.
Overall, the concept of bioregions offers a framework for understanding the interdependence of human societies and the natural world, and for promoting sustainable practices that support the health and well-being of both.