Let's talk regeneration!
By dictionary definition regeneration is ‘the action or process of regenerating or being regenerated, in particular the formation of new animal or plant tissue.’ A comprehensible term, but what does regeneration actually look like when put into action?
Well, to summarise, it’s a form of rehabilitation in how we take care and develop our local landscapes. Ensuring that these vital cogs in the ecosystem wheel keep turning and continue to do so for generations to come. Rather than simply sustaining our local environments from deteriorating, regeneration aims to grow and develop landscapes even further .
The work itself can be broken down into various collectives of regeneration. Each focusing on a different aspect of the environment or a particular challenge that threatens the natural growth of an area. Two examples of this would be agricultural regeneration and regenerative tourism.
Agricultural regeneration is a practice of farming that identifies the wider impact that farming has on our environment and therefore, using different methods aims to give back what has been taken from the land and more.
Often a lot of farmers focus on soil health. Without thriving soil, we can’t grow various food sources, plants, and trees that feed us oxygen amongst many other things that we humans rely on. The healthier the soil is, the more carbon that it will extract from the air to support root growth, cultivating in better air quality. And for the farmer, they will see more fruitful crops and have less requirements for chemical enhancements on their ground which saves money and reduces pollution.
Soil is just one of the key areas a farmer with a regenerative mindset will focus on. Biodiversity is also important to building up a variety of species in the ecosystem that each bring different benefits to the land. Reducing the all round amount of waste that farming work produces is a massive help as working towards building a cleaner water cycle.
All of the above contribute to a greater goal of strengthening the environment in the face of climate change giving our natural surroundings a chance to flourish.
The travel and tourism industry has had somewhat of a dark cloud hanging over it for many years when it comes to eco living. We’ve all seen the horrific images online of beautiful beaches left covered in litter from holiday-makers and it’s not new to us that transport such as cars and planes heavily pollute the air. So, where does regeneration come into play?
Well, the ethos of leaving somewhere better than you left applies aptly to tourists. Much like the farmers striving to nurture their land into a more successful ecosystem. Regenerative tourism aims to improve the all round quality of the destination for future visitors and of course, for local citizens. Now you may be wondering how we make tourism greener and smarter? Again, it’s a contribution of various efforts.
Firstly, local authorities and governments can play a huge role in how we travel and comply within different locations. Some cities have introduced more cycling lanes to encourage those visiting to ditch a car for a bike. No traffic zones can also be applied to city centre hubs. In particular, this has also helped recovering hospitality businesses coming out of the pandemic who can make use of the extra outdoor space to seat customers. For rural locations, making it easier for people travelling on bikes and on foot to connect buses and trains to get to and from different locations is important. So more trains and buses with the capacity for bikes is great!
It’s also about how we as visitors can contribute and become immersed in the local community. You can consciously make an effort to dine and shop in local businesses that support Fair Trade and environmentally friendly practices. Local enterprises offering sustainable or regenerative experiences are a great way to do something different on holiday, meet interesting people who live where you're visiting and leave with a feeling of having given something back. This directly supports local communities and is an investment in your destination’s local economy, helping it to grow.
Hopefully you can now see the trends emerging between the two samples above. Although both industries are world apart, if they adapt a regenerative approach to how they work then the benefits are huge. We can restore and revive our natural world for a greener and cleaner tomorrow.
How can you make regeneration part of your day to day life?
If you enjoyed this blog, then check out our 'Small steps everyone can take to support rewilding.'