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Everyone knows our planet is currently in a state of despair. With waste wars, rising sea levels, plastic polluted habitats and displaced citizens plastering our feeds each week, it’s no wonder the state of the earth is causing anxiety amongst some. However, the information available on the web about what we should be doing to help the environment is overwhelming, to say the least. So when Kaelen Ruland graduated from Curtin with a Journalism and Public Relations degree, she wanted to use her communications skills to cultivate a passionate, mindful and thriving community in Perth that has sustainability at its core.

Photo source: Kaelen Ruland

Originally hailing from a community-heavy country town in WA, Kaelen founded e.conscious in 2019 after identifying the people of Perth were disconnected from the environment, one another and even themselves. E.conscious will take the form of a website, containing a directory of environmentally conscious businesses, communities and events in Perth.

“I think Perth has a gap, really. There is a gap between what people are engaging with and where they’re voting with their dollar. The communities they’re investing in all seem to be more external from Perth,” Kaelen explains.

“So, I wanted to create something that informs people about where the little local hubs are and something that would integrate community. Right now, I feel like they exist in their own little bubbles.”

Photo source: Sarah McCamish

Kaelen describes conscious living to be anything that treads gently on oneself, the planet and others. Moving towards a zero-waste lifestyle and eating a plant-based diet are some examples of treading gently on the earth. Moreover, Kaelen notes being able to create meaningful conversations with people is a vital aspect of conscious living.

“I feel like that is really missing; people have forgotten the art of communication,” she said.

“Communicating and connecting with communities that might feel a little bit out of their comfort zone. Just informing people about where those communities are, because I think loneliness is a huge factor.

“Especially I think loneliness is something that’s not really touched on greatly in terms of the younger generation because of social events with alcohol and bar events and things like that. I wanted to move away from that vapid space of pressure.”

Being a part of a wider community can create a wealth of positive impacts on a person’s wellbeing as it is a space in which they feel included and their existence is valued.

“I think it’s important for people to feel connected to something other than just their daily routine or their small friendship groups,” Kaelen said.

“Hopefully, e.conscious will help to bridge those kinds of gaps because right now there are beautiful organisations in Perth and there are beautiful enterprises around WA that are doing the work, but they just kind of exist in niche markets.

“Basically, what I want to do is create a directory that brings that to people as an option to kind of step away from the vapid, fast fashion consumerism, wasteful behaviours and activities that aren’t necessarily fulfilling.”

Living a mindful life creates a ripple effect. If we all tread gently and work together, we can be the change this Earth needs. We have two homes: our body and our planet. It’s about time we start living a conscious life in order to protect them. For more information about e.conscious, follow their Instagram @e.conscious.wa