By Ryan Velez
For Jaden Smith, caring about the environment came early. At the age of 10, he was so upset by seeing plastic water bottles in the ocean around him while surfing that he told his parents. This would translate into learning about The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Today, he has partnered with his father, Will Smith, to try and do something about this. ABC News reports that they have created Just, an eco-friendly bottled water company.
“This was a company born out of a child’s love for the ocean,” Will Smith told The Associated Press during an interview with the father-son entertainment duo about their company’s new offering: flavored water. The company actually was founded in 2015, but Will explained that he wanted it to grow on its own merits before explaining exactly who was behind it.
“We did not want this to be a celebrity brand,” he said. “We’re just about to launch our second product and we felt like there were enough people who already have accepted the brand and it wouldn’t look like celebrities trying to sell some water.” Jaden Smith has already released several videos about climate change and sustainability and is also visiting schools to spread awareness about the problems caused by plastic and pollution and to inspire young people to help find solutions.
“School and education is where it all starts, because that’s where it started for me,” he said, adding that he tells students: “I just want you to know that I came up with this idea when I was your age, and that means you have the infinite ability to come up with any idea or any way that you want to change the world.” This commitment is something that the elder Smith has seen as the greatest lesson he’s learned from all his children.
“There’s a certain expectation that has developed of me over the years, and in watching Jaden and all of my children, I’m learning to get free again to be me and do me without the absolute concern of every single moment trying to live up to an image of who I am,” Smith said. “I found a really brand new freedom through watching my kids and how they tend, specifically Jaden, to not concern themselves with anything above honesty and truth and integrity to themselves first and foremost.”