Fashion and entertainment influencer Jaden Smith shares why he helped start an environmentally conscious water bottle company, Just Water, and joined the Environmental Media Association's board of directors.
When I was a kid, I kept seeing discarded water bottles on the ground everywhere, and the amount of waste blew me away. I told my parents that I was passionate about reducing our carbon footprint, so in 2008 we helped launch Just Water, a company that sells spring water in more-planet-friendly bottles.
In the beginning 52 percent of our bottles were made from renewable resources—now we’re up to 82 percent, which means we’ve further cut our greenhouse-gas emissions.
The tops of the bottles are made out of plant-based plastic derived from Brazilian sugar cane. I love using the sugar cane because you don’t need to water it—it’s humid and rainy enough in Brazil for the plant to naturally sustain itself every year.
We’ve also developed a partnership with Glens Falls, New York, where the water is packaged and bottled. Just Water uses less than 3 percent of their excess 1.7 billion gallons of annual rainfall.
Essentially, our company's created a more ethical water model that makes zero impact on the community water draw. And we decided to pay six times more for the water than the next highest-paying water user in the area. This way, the city can take that money and give back to their water infrastructure.
Last year the EMA, a nonprofit that works with pop-culture figures to promote environmental progress, thought what our company did was so awesome that it gave me an award. It was a powerful moment for me.
After that I joined the EMA’s board of directors to get involved with such programs as the Impact Summit, which brings together eco-conscious innovators and supports them with things like a $100,000 grant for pioneering projects. My ultimate goal is to move through the entire spectrum of consumer goods and eliminate plastic, one product at a time.
—As told to Shalayne Pulia
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