Bioregional is an entrepreneurial charity, which aims to invent and deliver practical solutions for sustainability. It was founded in 1992 on the belief that overconsumption of resources was the driving force behind environmental degradation, and set out to find new ways to meet more of their needs from local resources.

Founded1992 as 'Bioregional Development Group'
FounderSue Riddlestone, Pooran Desai
TypeLimited company and Charitable trust
FocusSustainability, Sustainable development, Environmentalism
Area served
MethodSocial enterprise, training
£1,380,000 Pound Sterling (2006-7)


Bioregional was founded in 1992 by Sue Riddlestone OBE and Pooran Desai OBE, and began life in the Sutton Ecology Centre. They first worked on local environmental projects, including the promotion of closed loop recycling in London and Surrey,[1] reviving lavender production in Mitcham and Carshalton,[2] setting up Croydon's TreeStation to turn waste municipal wood into biomass,[3] and establishing the Bioregional Charcoal Company Ltd who help a network of local charcoal producers sell to major retail stores.[4] These projects reflected Bioregional's aim of setting up social enterprises that could make the use of local and waste resources mainstream.

Bioregional began to expand in the late 1990s, and with the completion of BedZED they moved into their present offices in Hackbridge, London Borough of Sutton. From BedZED they developed with One Planet Living programme with WWF, which is the framework for all sustainable communities projects and has an equal influence over their vision as the original bioregionalism focus. Currently a One Planet Living communities is being built in Brighton.[5]

Bioregional currently have around 40 staff in London, as well as regional offices in China, Canada, South Africa, Kenya, Greece, Mexico, and Australia.

Founded in 2005, Bioregional North America is an affiliated Canadian non-profit organisation that specializes in fostering sustainable behavior change and collaborative consumption amongst occupants in new and existing buildings across the United States and Canada.[6]

Major current projects

  • One Planet Living communities, planned to be built in every continent by 2012 to demonstrate Bioregional's vision[7]
  • B&Q One Planet Home, developing a Sustainability Action Plan for the retailer and a customer-focused campaign and product range
  • The Laundry, a closed loop recycling social enterprise for small businesses in central London
  • One Planet Products, a sustainable construction materials buying club
  • HomeGrown Charcoal, produced through a decentralised network of charcoal burners to reduce transport CO2 by 90%
  • Bioregional MiniMills, developing technology to make paper pulp from straw and recover energy from the effluents
  • The EcoConcierge Program by BioRegional North America makes healthier, low-carbon lifestyles convenient for building occupants through hands-on services, building social capital, sustainable design, collaborative consumption, and community-based social marketing

Past projects

BedZED 2007
  • BedZED, the UK's largest eco-village
  • The sustainability strategy for the 2012 Olympics in London[8]
  • Reviving local lavender production in Carshalton and Mitcham
  • Croydon TreeStation, a solution for sustainable management of urban forestry to produce biomass fuel
  • Local Paper for London, Local Paper for Surrey, promoting closed loop recycling to businesses in these regions


  • See also awards won for the BedZED project
  • 2011 - Bioregional's founders Sue Riddlestone OBE and Pooran Desai OBE were named Social Entrepreneurs of the Year at the Davos World Economic Forum by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship[9]
  • 2009 - Bioregional's founders Sue Riddlestone OBE and Pooran Desai OBE won the Skoll Social Entrepreneur Award.[10]
  • June 2007 - Observer ethical awards for Bioregional MiniMills, Invention of the year.[11]
  • May 2006 - Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy for Croydon TreeStation[12]


  1. ^ TreeHugger, December 27, 2007, Local Paper for London: Get your Own (Recycled) Paper Back
  2. ^ A picture of change Archived October 20, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Carbon Trust, case study on London Borough of Croydon and BioRegional Development Group Archived December 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ The Guardian, June 13, 2008, Tread lightly: Buy British barbecue charcoal
  5. ^ The Times, February 15, 2008, Green apartments in Brighton
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-25. Retrieved 2012-02-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^
  8. ^ The Times, May 17, 2006, Games' clean agenda puts green before gold
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-06-07. Retrieved 2012-02-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-13. Retrieved 2012-02-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ Observer ethical awards Archived July 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Ashden Awards case study on BioRegional's TreeStation project". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2008-07-15.

External links

Anticipatory democracy

Anticipatory democracy is a theory of civics relying on democratic decision making that takes into account predictions of future events that have some credibility with the electorate. The phrase was coined by Alvin Toffler in his book Future Shock and was expanded on in the 1978 book Anticipatory Democracy, edited by Clement Bezold.

Other well-known advocates of the anticipatory approach include Newt Gingrich, Heidi Toffler, K. Eric Drexler, and Robin Hanson. They all advocate approaches where the public, not just experts, participate in this "anticipation".

The FutureMAP program of the Information Awareness Office program of the United States government proposed a prediction market prior to its cancellation on July 29, 2003.

Appalachian Ohio

Appalachian Ohio is a bioregion and political unit in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Ohio, characterized by the western foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and the Appalachian Plateau. The Appalachian Regional Commission defines the region as consisting of thirty-two counties. This region roughly overlaps with the Appalachian mixed-mesophytic forests, which begin in southeast Ohio and southwest Pennsylvania and continue to north Georgia and Alabama. The mixed-mesophytic forest is found only in Central and Southern Appalachia and eastern/central China. It is one of the most biodiverse temperate forests in the world.

Geologically, Appalachian Ohio corresponds closely to the terminal moraine of an ancient glacier that runs southwest to northeast through the state. Areas south and east of the moraine are characterized by rough, irregular hills and hollows, characteristic of the Allegheny Plateau and Cumberland Plateaus of the western Appalachian Plateau System. Unlike eastern Appalachia, this region does not have long fin-like ridges like those of the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians subranges, but a network of rocky hollows and hills going in all directions.

The region is considered part of "central Appalachia", a political, cultural, and bioregional classification that includes southeastern Ohio, Eastern Kentucky, most of West Virginia and Southwestern Virginia.

Bay of Fires

The Bay of Fires (indigenous name: larapuna) is a bay on the northeastern coast of Tasmania in Australia, extending from Binalong Bay to Eddystone Point. The bay was given its name in 1773 by Captain Tobias Furneaux in Adventure,

who saw the fires of Aboriginal people on the beaches.

Bay whaling activities were carried out in the area in the 1840s.The Bay of Fires is a region of white beaches, blue water and orange-hued granite (the colour of which is actually produced by a lichen). The northern section of the bay is part of Mount William National Park; the southern end is a conservation area.A wide range of activities can be pursued in the Bay of Fires area, including camping, beach activities, boating, bird watching, fishing, swimming, surfing and walking.


Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZED) is an environmentally friendly housing development in Hackbridge, London, England. It is in the London Borough of Sutton, 2 miles (3 km) north-east of the town of Sutton itself. Designed to create zero carbon emissions, it was the first large scale community to do so.


A bioregion is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than an ecozone, but larger than an ecoregion or an ecosystem, in the World Wildlife Fund classification scheme. There is also an attempt to use the term in a rank-less generalist sense, similar to the terms "biogeographic area" or "biogeographic unit".It may be conceptually similar to an ecoprovince.It is also differently used in the environmentalist context, being coined by Berg and Dasmann (1977).


Bioregionalism is a political, cultural, and ecological system or set of views based on naturally defined areas called bioregions, similar to ecoregions. Bioregions are defined through physical and environmental features, including watershed boundaries and soil and terrain characteristics. Bioregionalism stresses that the determination of a bioregion is also a cultural phenomenon, and emphasizes local populations, knowledge, and solutions.Bioregionalism asserts "that a bioregion’s environmental components (geography, climate, plant life, animal life, etc.) directly influence ways for human communities to act and interact with each other which are, in turn, optimal for those communities to thrive in their environment. As such, those ways to thrive in their totality—be they economic, cultural, spiritual, or political—will be distinctive in some capacity as being a product of their bioregional environment."Bioregionalism is a concept that goes beyond national boundaries—an example is the concept of Cascadia, a region that is sometimes considered to consist of most of Oregon and Washington, the Alaska Panhandle, the far north of California and the West Coast of Canada, sometimes also including some or all of Idaho and western Montana. Another example of a bioregion, which does not cross national boundaries, but does overlap state lines, is the Ozarks, a bioregion also referred to as the Ozarks Plateau, which consists of southern Missouri, northwest Arkansas, the northeast corner of Oklahoma, southeast corner of Kansas.Biogregions are not synonymous with ecoregions as defined by bodies such as the World Wildlife Fund or the Commission for Environmental Cooperation; the later are scientifically based and focused on wildlife and vegetation. Bioregions, by contrast are human regions, informed by nature but with a social and political element. In this way bioregionalism is simply political localism with an ecological foundation.

Cascadia (bioregion)

The concept of Cascadian bioregionalism is closely identified with the environmental movement. In the early 1970s, the contemporary vision of bioregionalism began to be formed through collaboration between natural scientists, social and environmental activists, artists and writers, community leaders, and back-to-the-landers who worked directly with natural resources. A bioregion is defined in terms of the unique overall pattern of natural characteristics that are found in a specific place. The main features are generally obvious throughout a continuous geographic terrain and include a particular climate, local aspects of seasons, landforms, watersheds, soils, and native plants and animals. People are also counted as an integral aspect of a locale's life, as can be seen in the ecologically adaptive cultures of early inhabitants, and in the activities of present-day reinhabitants who attempt to harmonize in a sustainable way with the place where they live.The Cascadia bioregion contains 75 distinct ecoregions, and extends for more than 2500 miles from the Copper River in Southern Alaska, to Cape Mendocino in the South, and east as far as the Yellowstone Caldera and continental divide. Cascadian bioregionalism deals with the connected ecological, environmental, economic, and cultural ties that are prevalent throughout the U.S. Pacific Northwest and distance the area from their eastern counterparts. The argument is that those in Washington and Oregon in the United States have much more in common with those in British Columbia, Canada, than those in Washington D.C..The Cascadia Bioregion is also referred to as the Pacific Northwest Bioregion and encompasses all of the state of Washington, and portions of Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, Alaska, Yukon, and British Columbia. Bioregions are geographically based areas defined by land or soil composition, watershed, climate, flora, and fauna. The Cascadia Bioregion claims the entire watershed of the Columbia River (as far as the Continental Divide), as well as the Cascade Range from Northern California well into Canada. It's also considered to include the associated ocean and seas and their ecosystems out to the continental slope. The delineation of a bioregion has environmental stewardship as its primary goal, with the belief that political boundaries should match ecological and cultural boundaries.

The area from Vancouver, B.C. down to Portland, Oregon has been termed a megaregion by the U.S. and Canadian governments, especially along the 'Cascadian Corridor'. Megaregions are defined as areas where "boundaries begin to blur, creating a new scale of geography now known as the megaregion. These areas have interlocking economic systems, shared natural resources, and ecosystems, and common transportation systems link these population centers together. This area contains 17% of Cascadian land mass, but more than 80% of the Cascadian population. The Canada–US border is diminishing in the face of further economic, political and cultural integration with such programs as the enhanced drivers license program – which can be used to get across the Canada–US border between Washington and British Columbia.

Cascadia (independence movement)

Cascadia is a bioregion and proposed country or autonomous region located within the western region of North America. Potential boundaries differ, with some drawn along existing political state and provincial lines, and others drawn along larger ecological, cultural, political, and economic boundaries. The boundaries generally used by Cascadian organizations such as CascadiaNow! are those defined by the Cascadia Bioregion.

The proposed country or region largely would consist of the Canadian province of British Columbia and the US States of Washington and Oregon. Including all parts of the bioregion, Cascadia would stretch from coastal Alaska in the north into Northern California in the south, and inland to include parts of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and the Yukon. More conservative advocates propose borders that include the land west of the crest of Cascade Range, and the western side of British Columbia.

As measured only by the combination of present Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia statistics, Cascadia would be home to slightly more than 16 million people (16,029,520), and would have an economy generating more than US$675 billion worth of goods and services annually. This number would increase if portions of Northern California, Idaho, and Southern Alaska were also included.

By land area Cascadia would be the 20th largest country in the world, with a land area of 534,572 sq mi (1,384,588 km2), placing it behind Mongolia. Its population would be similar in size to that of Ecuador, Guatemala, or Zambia.

Chellis Glendinning

Chellis Glendinning is an author and social-change activist. She is noted as a pioneer in the field of ecopsychology, a proponent of bioregional land-based culture, and a critic of technological society having worked with such contemporaries as Jerry Mander, Vandana Shiva, Stephanie Mills, and Kirkpatrick Sale.

Community in a Cube

CIAC, also referred to as Community In A Cube, is a housing development on Windward Way, Middlesbrough, United Kingdom designed by Fashion Architecture Taste for clients BioRegional and Quintain.

Credo High School

Credo High School is a tuition-free, college prep public charter school in Rohnert Park, California, following the core principles of public Waldorf education and serving students in ninth through twelfth grades. The school has been expanding annually since it opened in 2011, and there are 400 students for the 2018-2019 school year.

Credo High School was granted charter approval in 2010 after three years of planning by a development team led by Executive Director Chip Romer and Education Director Thomas Schaefer. The school was originally located on Southwest Blvd. in Rohnert Park, California, but in 2017 relocated to SOMO Village in Rohnert Park, planned to be the model sustainable community in North America and dedicated to reducing carbon dioxide emissions and creating a more sustainable world. Today, Credo High School is the only "One Planet" school in the world and has been recognized as a Planetary Leader by Bioregional, Inc., the London-based international nonprofit that oversees One Planet Living worldwide. The school is financially supported by Awakening Entelechy, Inc., a nonprofit created expressly for the purpose of supporting the school.

Desert planet

A desert planet, also known as a dry planet, an arid planet, or a Dune planet, is a theoretical type of terrestrial planet with a surface consistency similar to Earth's hot deserts.

A 2011 study suggested that not only are life-sustaining desert planets possible, but that they might be more common than Earth-like planets. The study found that, when modeled, desert planets had a much larger habitable zone than ocean planets. The same study also speculated that Venus may have once been a habitable desert planet as recently as 1 billion years ago. It is also predicted that Earth will become a desert planet within a billion years due to the Sun's increasing luminosity.A study conducted in 2013 concluded that hot desert planets without runaway greenhouse effect can exist in 0.5 AU around Sun-like stars. In that study, it was concluded that a minimum humidity of 1% is needed to wash off carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but too much water can act as a greenhouse gas itself. Higher atmospheric pressures increase the range in which the water can remain liquid.


An ecoregion (ecological region) is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion, which in turn is smaller than an ecozone. All three of these are either less or greater than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural communities and species. The biodiversity of flora, fauna and ecosystems that characterise an ecoregion tends to be distinct from that of other ecoregions. In theory, biodiversity or conservation ecoregions are relatively large areas of land or water where the probability of encountering different species and communities at any given point remains relatively constant, within an acceptable range of variation (largely undefined at this point).

Three caveats are appropriate for all bio-geographic mapping approaches. Firstly, no single bio-geographic framework is optimal for all taxa. Ecoregions reflect the best compromise for as many taxa as possible. Secondly, ecoregion boundaries rarely form abrupt edges; rather, ecotones and mosaic habitats bound them. Thirdly, most ecoregions contain habitats that differ from their assigned biome. Biogeographic provinces may originate due to various barriers. Some physical (plate tectonics, topographic highs), some climatic (latitudinal variation, seasonal range) and some ocean chemical related (salinity, oxygen levels).

History of the Green Party of Canada

The Green Party of Canada was founded at a conference held at Carleton University in Ottawa in 1983. Under its first leader, Dr. Trevor Hancock, the party ran 60 candidates in the 1984 Canadian federal election. The BC Greens ran Canada's first Green candidate. Later that year, the founding conference of the Canadian Greens was held at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario. Close to 200 people from 55 communities attended, coming from every province except Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island.

The birthing process was difficult, with deep divisions between those arguing for a national structure, and those in favour of a process that would build from the regions following the bioregional democracy structure.

Trevor Hancock was the party's first registered leader. Party members chose a radically decentralized party structure, and for several years a kind of green anarchism prevailed. Eventually, an uneasy agreement was reached for a federation of regional parties, with strong support for building upwards from the bottom. The question arose: "Is the priority to redefine politics from the ground up, or to play the electoral game according to the present rules? Or both?"

Many members saw the party as a way to protest Canada's political system, and not much more. Nonetheless it did run candidates.

New England Quarter

The New England Quarter is a mixed-use development in the city of Brighton and Hove, England. It was built between 2004 and 2008 on the largest brownfield site in the city, adjacent to Brighton railway station. Most parts of the scheme have been finished, but other sections are still being built and one major aspect of the original plan was refused planning permission.The site, a steeply sloping hillside between a main railway line and one of Brighton's main roads, had been the home of a railway locomotive works and goods yard for more than a century. High-density housing was built at the same time and surrounded the railway buildings. From the 1960s, the area fell into decline: the works and goods yard were closed and demolished, and most of the housing was cleared. This left large areas of derelict land which attracted small-scale redevelopment and transient commercial enterprises. Proposals for redevelopment were made from the 1980s onwards; in 2001 a master plan was granted planning permission by Brighton and Hove City Council. Site clearance work followed, and construction began in 2004.

The New England Quarter consists of separately planned areas (called "Blocks" in the master plan) connected by new or altered road infrastructure and pedestrian links. Land use includes private and council housing of various styles and configurations, office and retail space, a college, a hotel, public space and community facilities. Some of the residential development aims to meet high environmental and sustainability standards, and green space is being provided on former railway land.

The scheme has attracted criticism from various sources, and certain aspects and proposals have been particularly controversial. A planned 42-storey hotel and residential building on one block—which was not in the original plan and for which planning permission was later denied—was opposed by many local people and politicians, and was eventually rejected by a government minister on appeal. The decision to allow a large supermarket branch to be built in the middle of the development was also unpopular. A campaign group was formed to co-ordinate and raise the awareness of people's concerns.

North West Bicester

North West Bicester (NW Bicester) is one of four eco-towns that were originally given the green light by the government in 2009 to act as showcases for environmentally sustainable communities. It will be a true zero carbon development on the edge of Bicester, Oxfordshire, through measures including renewable energy, sustainable travel options and homes with high energy efficiency ratings. In April 2011, the coalition government announced that only NW Bicester would actually be built to the originally proposed standards under the government’s Eco Town Planning Policy Statement 1, which is often referred to as the Eco Town PPS.

Peter Berg (bioregionalist)

Peter Stephen Berg (October 1, 1937 – July 28, 2011) was an environmental writer, best known as an advocate of the concept of bioregionalism. In the early 1960s, he was a member of the San Francisco Mime Troupe and the Diggers. He is the founder of the Planet Drum Foundation.

South African National Biodiversity Institute

The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) is an organisation under the South African Department of Environmental Affairs, tasked with research and dissemination of information on biodiversity.

Vision quest

A vision quest is a rite of passage in some Native American cultures. It is usually only undertaken by young males entering adulthood.

Individual Indigenous cultures have their own names for their rites of passage. "Vision quest" is an English language umbrella term, and may not always be accurate or used by the cultures in question.

Among Native American cultures who have this type of rite, it usually consists of a series of ceremonies led by Elders and supported by the young man's community. The process includes a complete fast for four days and nights, alone at a sacred site in nature which is chosen by the Elders for this purpose. Some communities have used the same sites for many generations. During this time, the young person prays and cries out to the spirits that they may have a vision, one that will help them find their purpose in life, their role in a community, and how they may best serve the People. Dreams or visions may involve natural symbolism - such as animals or forces of nature - that require interpretation by Elders. After their passage into adulthood, and guided by this experience, the young person may then become an apprentice or student of an adult who has mastered this role.When talking to Yellow Wolf, Lucullus Virgil McWhorter came to believe that the person fasts, and stays awake and concentrates on their quest until their mind becomes "comatose." It was then that their Weyekin (Nez Perce word) revealed itself.


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