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Rewilding 101

How this biodiverse practice helps nature thrive

For many people, the idea of restoring and protecting the natural world seems to be both daunting and so far from reach that it feels almost impossible to achieve—but that sentiment couldn’t be further from the truth.

Small actions make for big changes. Supporting biodiversity, animals and their habitats doesn’t mean dropping life as you know it. You don’t have to become a full-time environmentalist—although that wouldn’t be too shabby—to make a real change. Instead, doing your part could be as simple as rewilding your day-to-day routine.

What is rewilding?

You might be asking yourself—what in the world does rewilding even mean? Although it may sound like the latest buzzword, it’s actually an approach that’s been around for a while. The term “rewilding” is about helping nature do its thing. It’s about allowing it to regenerate and naturally thrive. To rewild is to take conscious steps to repair and restore ecosystems, natural habitats and, ultimately, the environment.

“Rewilding is a progressive approach to conservation. It’s about letting nature take care of itself; enabling natural processes to shape land and sea; repair damaged ecosystems; and restore degraded landscapes. Through rewilding, wildlife’s natural rhythms create wilder, more biodiverse habitats.”

Rewilding Europe.

Why is rewilding important?

Biodiversity and climate change

Since 1970—according to the 2022 Living Planet Report—the world has lost 69 percent of its mammals, amphibians, fish, birds and reptiles due to deforestation and other human-driven factors. This devastation of life, nature and biodiversity has played an integral role in exacerbating climate change. Biodiversity is at a standstill with its biggest threat being humans themselves .

What is biodiversity? Biodiversity is all the different forms of life that can be found in an ecosystem. It includes everything from animals and plants to fungi and microscopic organisms that are too small for us to even see. But why is biodiversity important? All these living creatures work together to keep our world balanced and healthy. Rewilding aims to keep the world wild by reintroducing native plants, apex predators and keystone species to their native lands.

Our oceans and woodlands absorb over half of our carbon emissions—ecosystems known as “carbon sink”—and their health is rapidly declining. Many species are on the brink of extinction with climate change making their environments uninhabitable. Climate change negatively impacts every corner of the world from wetlands to deserts, with higher temperatures affecting access to food, water and land for both humans and animals.

Rewilding practices allow for nature to naturally repair and regenerate itself.

Green plants can be seen in a thriving forest surrounded by tall and healthy trees and beautiful deep green foliage.

How is rewilding fighting climate change?

Around the world, rewilding efforts have been put into place to help nature heal itself and flourish.

For example, tigers can play a crucial role in lowering carbon emissions in forests. According to the World Widlife Fund: “[F]orests inhabited by tigers were found to contain three times the carbon density of forests and other landscapes where the tiger populations had been eradicated.” Tigers deter human activity and, as top predators, prey on herbivores thus controlling vegetation—keeping forests balanced and healthy.

In 2009, bison were reintroduced into the Chihuahua Desert, an area degraded by overgrazing by domestic livestock. As part of a restoration plan, bison—a keystone species—were brought in to help the desert grassland recover. Unlike cattle, bison graze while roaming, leaving just enough vegetation for the plants to continue growing—rehabilitating the area and its biodiversity.

What is an example of rewilding in the U.S.? Great question! Prior to 1995, there were no wolves in Yellowstone National Park, resulting in an overpopulation of elk and an overgrazing of aspen and cottonwood trees. Once wolves were reintroduced, elks gravitated towards conifers rather than aspens which play a key role in forest biodiversity.

These are just a few examples of how rewilding can transform landscapes, improve biodiversity and ultimately battle climate change.

What is permaculture?

Permaculture is about creating a natural, balanced and thriving environment between yourself, land and animals. It’s an approach to land management that aims to create natural ecosystems. Permaculture can be a part of rewilding and can be incorporated into rural or city life. If you’re looking to create your own biodiverse landscape, start with your space. Plant native plants on your balcony that help restore local biodiversity or grow a flourishing organic garden blossoming with veggies, plants, life-giving pollinators and more.

What is sustainability?

Sustainability is about meeting societies needs without depleting our natural resources and the environment. It’s about making sure that we live in a balanced and healthy world. Each one of us has the power to make sustainable choices every day.

How to be more sustainable

Next time you’re looking for a shampoo or conditioner, look for the best products for yourself and the planet. Try packaging-free, naked products to keep plastics and waste out of landfills, oceans and waterways.

Learn about Lush’s commitment to sustainability here.

Land use

When our worldview sees nature as ours to plunder and dominate, we continuously shake nature’s delicate balance and cause what is now called the sixth great extinction. Of all the mammals (by biomass) that exist on the planet today, only four percent are wild animals, the rest are either humans (36 percent) or animals raised in captivity (60 percent).

To put it simply, we need to change the way we use land. We’ve used and abused our land for food, material goods and natural resources for far too long. Agriculture and non-regenerative farming practices are responsible for ¼ of our greenhouse gas emissions. Reckless production of ingredients like palm oil have destroyed both human and animal habitats creating monoculture forests that devastate local communities and biodiversity. It’s time we learn how to symbiotically live with nature.

Learn about Lush’s investment in sustainable farming and agriculture here.

Rewild your routine

So what do endangered animals, climate change, wildlife destruction and your cosmetics have to do with one-another? Every purchase you make creates a ripple effect that’s felt around the world. Many ingredients in everyday cosmetics contribute to environmental destruction. This is why Lush is creating a cosmetic revolution using biodiverse and regenerative ingredients.

Ethical consumerism

Believe it or not, rewilding starts at home. From your face masks to your soaps and body lotions you can help restore and protect our natural world from the comfort of your bathroom.

Try Sleepy Body Lotion to soften skin and protect pollinators. Our organic lavender oil is grown using regenerative practices which improve biodiversity and soil health. Thanks to these initiatives pollinators like bees and butterflies are able to transport pollen from one flower to another producing fruits and seeds which result in many of our favorite foods.

Our lavender oil is grown using biodiverse practices.

Rows of purple lavender fields flourish on a sunny day amongst a background of rolling hills.” height=

Deep Sleep Magnesium Massage Bar will hydrate and calm skin with organic illipe butter sustainably sourced from Borneo and refined by Forestwise: an organization committed to protecting Borneo’s rainforests and communities.

Every ingredient we use takes into consideration people, animals and the planet.

Palm trees stand tall in a lush forest.

When you purchase a Lush product, you can rest assured that all living things were taken into consideration when making it. These are just a few of the sustainably sourced products that work to empower and protect people, animals and the planet. Rewild your routine and check out six more of Lush’s most biodiverse products and their regenerative ingredients here.

Get started

Learn more about rewilding here and start investing both in the planet and your future by rewilding your routine. Stop by your local shop to learn more about our initiatives, regenerative ingredients and sustainable products.

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